Medical Surgical Heart failure #9

Question

The nurse is caring for an older client who was admitted for extreme weakness, dizziness, and orthopnea. A diagnosis of heart failure is confirmed. Which of the following tests is helpful in determining the diagnosis of heart failure?

Answers

  1. Electrolyte Panel
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because while potassium and sodium levels may present with imbalances they are not used to diagnose heart failure. Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) is a blood test that measures a special hormone in the blood when the heart experiences changes in pressure within the heart. This blood level increases when heart failure worsens and is used to diagnose heart failure.

  2. Liver Function Panel
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because while cardiac changes may be revealed through 12-lead ECG, such changes may not be diagnostic indicators of heart failure. The level of BNP increases with ventricular wall expansion, which occurs as a result of increased pressure. BNP increases with straining of heart myocytes and is therefore a helpful tool in determining heart failure with or without systolic dysfunction.

  3. 12-lead Electrocardiogram
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because while cardiac changes may be revealed through liver function panels, such changes will not be diagnostic indicators of heart failure. The level of BNP increases with ventricular wall expansion, which occurs as a result of increased pressure. BNP increases with straining of heart myocytes and is therefore a helpful tool in determining heart failure with or without systolic dysfunction.

  4. Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP)
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) is a blood test that measures a special hormone in the blood when the heart experiences changes in pressure within the heart. The level of BNP increases with ventricular wall expansion, which occurs as a result of increased pressure. Natriuretic peptides are secreted by the heart as a way to balance and maintain homeostasis with blood pressure, plasma volume, and water/sodium ratios. It is secreted more when ventricles stretch or when chamber wall thickening occurs. BNP increases with straining of heart myocytes and is therefore a helpful tool in determining heart failure with or without systolic dysfunction.

Overview

Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) is a blood test that measures a special hormone in the blood when the heart experiences changes in pressure within the heart. This blood level increases when heart failure worsens and is used to diagnose heart failure.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) is a hormone produced by the heart and blood vessels in response to pressure change. The level of BNP increases with ventricular wall expansion, which occurs as a result of increased pressure. Natriuretic peptides are secreted by the heart as a way to balance and maintain homeostasis with blood pressure, plasma volume, and water/sodium ratios. It is secreted more when ventricles stretch or when chamber wall thickening occurs. BNP increases with straining of heart myocytes and is therefore a helpful tool in determining heart failure with or without systolic dysfunction.

Test Taking Tip

Sometimes you have to just put something in the memory bank. Understanding the whys behind and the details can help you put it to memory, sometimes, for example, you just have to know that BNP is associated with heart failure.

Video Rationale