Cardiovascular pathophysiological changes, such as hypertension and enlarged ventricles, reflect the altered functions of the heart and its circulation during ill-health. This article examines the normal and altered anatomy of the cardiac valves, the contractile elements and enzymes of the myocardium, the significance of the different factors associated with cardiac output, and the role of the autonomic nervous system in the heart beat. It also explores how certain diseases alter these functions and result in cardiac symptoms. Nurses can benefit from knowledge of these specific changes, for example, by being able to ask relevant questions in order to ascertain the nature of a patients condition, by being able to take an effective patient history and by being able to read diagnostic results, such as electrocardiograms and cardiac enzyme results. All this will help nurses to promote sound cardiac care based on a physiological rationale.

Congestive heart failure (congestive heart failure CHF) pathophysiology, treatments, and symptoms nursing lecture on heart failure for nursing students. This congestive heart failure NCLEX review with give you mnemonics on how to remember the causes of heart failure and the different types of heart failure, such as left-sided or right-side heart failure. I also discuss the pathophysiology of both left ventricular systolic and diastolic dysfunction along with right-sided dysfunction. Signs and symptoms of heart failure affecting the left-side are pulmonary in nature with the patient experience, dyspnea, crackles, orthopnea, and paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea. Whereas, the signs and symptoms of right-sided heart failure are peripheral in nature with the patient experiencing swelling of the liver, hands, feet, abdomen nocturia, and jugular venous distention. Tests used to diagnose heart failure include a blood test called BNP, echo-cardiogram, heart catheterization, chest x-ray, or nuclear stress test. Left-sided heart failure is the most common type of heart failure and can lead to right-sided heart failure. Patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction have low ejection fractions (EFs) compared to patients with left ventricular diastolic dysfunction who may have a normal ejection fraction.

Coronary artery disease (also called coronary heart disease) NCLEX lecture video on the nursing, anatomy, pathophysiology, treatment, and signs and symptoms of coronary artery disease. CAD is the build up of fatty plaques due to atherosclerosis that causes the arteries of the heart to become narrow. This leads to restrictive blood supply to the heart muscle which leads to chest pain (stable or unstable angina) to myocardial infraction (MI). The main coronary arteries that supply the heart with blood include the left and right coronary artery. The left coronary artery branches off into the left circumflex artery and left anterior descending artery. The right coronary artery branches off into the right marginal artery and posterior descending artery. If ischemia has been present for a long time collateral circulation can develop as well. This is where tiny blood vessels re-route the blood supply to the heart to pass the blockage. Signs and symptoms of heart disease include: chest pain (especially with activity and is relieved with rest which is known as stable angina), shortness of breath, and feeling very tired. Coronary artery disease is diagnosed in various ways: lipid profile which measures the cholesterol levels, EKG, stress test, and heart catheterization. CAD is treated with medications (discussed in part 2 of this series), heart catheterization (most commonly with stent placement) or coronary artery bypass graft surgery.


Chummun H. Understanding changes in cardiovascular pathophysiology. Br J Nurs. 2009 Mar 26-Apr 8;18(6):359-64. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2009.18.6.40768. PMID: 19329900.