A 72-year-old female has been told by her physician that she has a new heart murmur that requires her to go visit a cardiologist. Upon examination, the cardiologist informs the patient that she has aortic stenosis. After the cardiologist has left the room, the patient asks, “What caused this [aortic stenosis] to happen now?” The clinic nurse responds,

Answers:

A.“Aortic stenosis is commonly seen in elderly patients.Basically, there is a blockage in the valve that is causing blood to pool, causing decreased velocity of flow.”

B.“Because of the high amount of energy it takes to push blood through the aortic valve to the body, your valve is just had to work too hard and it is weakening.”

C.“This is caused by a tear in one of the papillary muscles attached to the valve. They can do a procedure where they thread a catheter into the heart and reattach the muscle ends.”

D. “Heart murmurs result from tumultuous flow through a diseased heart valve that is too narrow and stiff. This flow causes a vibration called a murmur.”

 

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