Medical Surgical Labs Cholesterol Labs #4

Question

The nurse is caring for a client who is taking simvastatin. Which lab values reveal the medication is providing the appropriate effect? Select all that apply.

Answers

  1. LDL 81 mg/dL
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because the client’s LDL is 81 mg/dL, which is under 100 mg/dL. Increased levels of LDL builds up inside the blood vessels and narrows the vessels. If a clot forms, they become stuck in the narrowed vessel, resulting in a stroke or heart attack.

  2. HDL 66 mg/dL
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because the client’s HDL is 66 mg/dL, which is over 40 mg/dL. HDL is the “healthyâ€ cholesterol. It removes excess cholesterol from the blood and sends it to the liver where it is filtered out of the body.

  3. LDL 110 mg/dL
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because the client’s LDL is 110 mg/dL, which is over 100 mg/dL. Increased levels of LDL builds up inside the blood vessels and narrows the vessels, causing clots to become stuck resulting in a stroke or heart attack.

  4. HDL 38 mg/dL
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because the HDL is under 40 mg/dL. A good HDL level is 40 mg/dL or more and by exercising, the client can raise the HDL level.

  5. Triglycerides 150 mg/dL
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because triglycerides 150 mg/dL or less is the most appropriate level. Triglycerides are another type of fat in the blood. When more calories are consumed than the body can use, they turn into triglycerides. Exercising will reduce the triglycerides and raise the HDL.

Overview

Simvastatin is an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor that works by blocking the enzyme that creates cholesterol and reabsorbing cholesterol that already exists in the body. Normal therapeutic range for cholesterol labs are as follows: Total cholesterol 200 or less, triglycerides 150 or less, LDL 100 or less, and HDL 40 or more.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Normal therapeutic ranges for cholesterol labs are a total cholesterol of 200 or less, triglycerides 150 or less, LDL 100 or less, and HDL 40 or more. Increased levels of LDL builds up inside the blood vessels and narrows the vessels. If a clot forms, they become stuck in the narrowed vessel, resulting in a stroke or heart attack. HDL is the “healthy” cholesterol. It removes excess cholesterol from the blood and sends it to the liver where it is filtered out of the body. Triglycerides are another type of fat in the blood. When more calories are consumed than the body can use, they turn into triglycerides. Exercising will reduce the triglycerides and raise the HDL. Following a healthy diet will reduce cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides. Smoking and abstaining from caffeine and stimulants will keep the blood vessels wide and not narrow, so the blood can move easily through.

Test Taking Tip

Remember causes and risk factors for high cholesterol this way: “SODA”: S- stress, stimulants, smoking; O- Obesity; D- Diabetes, diet; A- Atherosclerosis and African-Americans. Particularly African-American males over the age of 50.

Video Rationale