Patho Patho #51

Question

Which best describes the pathophysiology of wheezes during an acute asthma attack?

Answers

  1. Excess mucus production by goblet cells.
    • Rationale:

      This answer choice is not correct because the overproduction of mucus by goblet cells is associated with the productive cough in clients with bronchitis.

  2. Airway inflammation and bronchoconstriction.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because airway inflammation and bronchoconstriction are responsible for the auscultation of wheezes during an acute asthma attack.

  3. Decreased airway reactivity.
    • Rationale:

      This answer choice is not correct because asthma attacks are caused by airway hyperreactivity and not decreased airway reactivity.

  4. Rapid destruction of bronchial mucosa.
    • Rationale:

      This answer choice is not correct because airway inflammation and bronchoconstriction produce the sound of wheezes. There is no rapid destruction of bronchial mucosa during an acute asthma attack.

Overview

The focus of this question is asking the nurse to identify the pathophysiological process responsible for the auscultation of wheezes in a client with asthma. Inspiratory and/or expiratory wheezes may be auscultated during an acute asthma attack with inspiratory wheezes representing a more severe attack.. The inflammation and bronchoconstriction that occurs during an acute asthma attack are responsible for the sound of wheezes in these clients.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Wheezes are a high-pitched, whistling sound that may be auscultated when a client is experiencing difficulty to breathe. They may be heard on inspiration or expiration and are most often associated with an acute asthma attack. During an asthma attack, the airway is inflamed and bronchoconstriction occurs which are the processes responsible for the sound of wheezes in these clients.

Test Taking Tip

The three most important underlying pathophysiological processes that occur during an asthma attack are airway inflammation, bronchoconstriction, and mucus production within the airway.

Video Rationale