Medical Surgical Myocardial Infarction #2

Question

A client is admitted for observation following complaints of intermittent chest pain while mowing the grass. The pain persisted for an hour following the activity. All cardiac labs, electrocardiogram, and radiologic studies were normal and the client was provided nitroglycerin for a new diagnosis of angina pectoris. Discharge education includes information that angina is most often attributable to what cause?

Answers

  1. Decreased workload on the heart
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because decreased workload of the heart is not the most attributable cause of angina pectoris (chest pain). Sublingual nitroglycerin is given to dilate coronary arteries in the event of angina to decrease pain by providing more blood flow and oxygen to the myocardium, thus decreasing the workload of the heart.

  2. Atrial septal defect
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because septal defects are not a common cause of angina. Arteriosclerosis is the most common cause of angina pectoris (chest pain) because of narrowing of vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients from the heart to the rest of the bodies. Diminished oxygen from reduced blood flow in arteries supplying the heart muscle causes chest pain (angina pectoris).

  3. Infarction of the myocardium
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because chest pain that is unrelieved may progress to myocardial infarction from sudden rupture of plaque or obstruction of blood flow. Arteriosclerosis is the most common cause of angina pectoris (chest pain) because of narrowing of vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients from the heart to the rest of the bodies. Diminished oxygen from reduced blood flow in arteries supplying the heart muscle causes chest pain (angina pectoris).

  4. Coronary arteriosclerosis
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because arteriosclerosis is the most common cause of angina pectoris (chest pain) because of narrowing of vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients from the heart to the rest of the bodies. Diminished oxygen from reduced blood flow in arteries supplying the heart muscle causes chest pain (angina pectoris).

Overview

Arteriosclerosis is the most common cause of angina pectoris (chest pain) because of narrowing of vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients from the heart to the rest of the bodies. Diminished oxygen from reduced blood flow in arteries supplying the heart muscle causes chest pain (angina pectoris).

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Arteriosclerosis affects coronary arteries because of narrowing of vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients from the heart to the rest of the bodies. Diminished oxygen from reduced blood flow in arteries supplying the heart muscle causes chest pain (angina pectoris). Chest pain that is unrelieved may progress to myocardial infarction from sudden rupture of plaque or obstruction of blood flow. Sublingual nitroglycerin is given to dilate coronary arteries in the event of angina to decrease pain by providing more blood flow and oxygen to the myocardium, thus decreasing the workload of the heart.

Test Taking Tip

Thinking and considering two different choices for an answer is always the struggle when answering a question. Sometimes choosing the all-inclusive answer is best. Nevertheless, consider what the question is asking and if it asks for “most common” or “most often attributed to”, the test taker may need to be more specific. For example, if the question is wanting to know what angina is most often attributed to, selecting arteriosclerosis is more specific and more common than myocardial infarction, so it would be the best answer. Myocardial infarction is the big condition everyone thinks about to cause chest pain but individuals will have arteriosclerosis before having myocardial infarction.

Video Rationale