Patho Patho #41

Question

The most critical potential complications of long-term growth hormone excess include:

Answers

  1. 1. weight loss and mental dullness.
    • Rationale:

      This answer choice is not correct because weight loss and mental dullness are not associated with excess growth hormone.

  2. 2. poor growth and development.
    • Rationale:

      This answer choice is not correct because poor growth and development is not associated with excess growth hormone.

  3. 3. development of a pituitary adenoma.
    • Rationale:

      This answer choice is not correct because the development of a pituitary adenoma may be the underlying etiology of excess growth hormone; however, it is not a potential complication.

  4. 4. hypertension and diabetes mellitus.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because diabetes and hypertension are among the most serious potential complications of excess growth hormone. Clients may also develop obstructive sleep apnea and heart failure which is an important cause of mortality in these clients.

Overview

This question is asking the nurse to identify the most critical complications that may occur in a client with growth hormone excess. Excess secretion of growth hormone in adulthood leads to a disorder known as acromegaly which causes abnormal facial features and enlargement of the hands and feet. The most serious complications of this disorder include the development of diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, and heart disease.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Acromegaly is the term used to describe the excess secretion of growth hormone after closure of the epiphyseal plates. It is usually caused by a growth hormone secreting tumor around the pituitary. Features include enlargement of the hands and feet and abnormal facial characteristics. However, the most critical and serious potential complications of excess growth hormone include insulin resistance causing diabetes and cardiac complications such as hypertension.

Test Taking Tip

Always read the question and answer choices carefully; when a question is asking for the “most critical” potential complication(s) of a disease or disorder, look for answer choices that will have negative consequences affecting airway, breathing, or circulation.

Video Rationale