Patho Patho #23
The nurse caring for a client with advanced cirrhosis expects which clinical manifestations to be present upon assessment?
- Dyspnea at rest.
This answer choice is not correct because dyspnea at rest is a sign of a potential complication of cirrhosis. It is not an expected manifestation but rather an indication of respiratory distress.
- Increased ALT/AST
This answer is correct as increased AST and ALT levels are expected in clients with cirrhosis. Elevated liver function tests are indicative of liver damage or disease.
- Severe hematemesis
This answer choice is not correct as severe hematemesis is not an expected finding in a client with cirrhosis. This is an indicator of a ruptured esophageal varix which is a critical potential complication of liver disease.
- Blood pressure 72/42
This answer choice is not correct as significant hypotension is not an expected finding associated with cirrhosis. This could indicate that a client is hemorrhaging which is a critical potential implication associated with liver disease.
The focus of this question is asking the nurse to identify an expected finding associated with a medical diagnosis of cirrhosis. ALT and AST are enzymes found in the liver that help with metabolism of protein and amino acids. Elevated AST and ALT levels are associated with liver disease and expected in a client with cirrhosis.
ALT and AST are the lab results that are most commonly monitored when liver disease is suspected or confirmed. HIgher than normal levels of AST/ALT indicate liver damage, liver disease, or a blocked bile duct. Elevated ALT and AST are expected in a client with confirmed cirrhosis.
Test Taking Tip
Make sure to be able to differentiate expected findings from findings that indicate potential complications. Expected findings are not considered priority findings.