Coarctation of the aorta NCLEX questions for nursing students. CoA is a congenital heart defect disorder.
Before taking the quiz below, don’t forget to watch the lecture on coarctation of the aorta.
This quiz is part of a pediatric NCLEX review series.
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Coarctation of the Aorta NCLEX Questions
1. Select all the true statements about the aorta:
A. “The ascending aorta branches off to supply the coronary arteries of the heart.”
B. “It’s the third largest artery in the body.”
C. “The aorta comes off the right ventricle and supplies oxygenated blood to the body.”
D. “The aortic arch branches off to supply the head, neck, and upper extremities.”
The answers are A and D. These statements are true about the aorta. Option B is wrong because the aorta is the LARGEST artery in the body (not the third largest). Option C is wrong because the aorta comes off the LEFT (not right) ventricle.
2. You’re caring for a child with coarctation of the aorta and educating the parents about the child’s condition. Which statement by the parents demonstrates they understood the pathophysiology of this defect?
A. “This condition can lead to right-sided heart failure.”
B. “The narrowing of the aorta leads to a high blood pressure in the arteries that are found before the site of narrowing in the aorta.”
C. “The dilation of the aorta leads to a decrease blood pressure in the arteries that are found after the site of dilation.”
D. “The upper and lower extremities will experience a decrease in blood flow due to the defect in the aorta.”
The answer is B. This is the only correct statement about CoA. Option A is wrong because this condition leads to LEFT side heart failure (not right side). Option C is wrong because this condition is due to NARROWING (not dilation) of the aorta. Option D is wrong because ONLY the lower extremities (not upper) will experience a decrease in blood flow.
3. A newborn has severe coarctation of the aorta. What signs and symptoms would you expect to find in this patient? Select all that apply:
A. Very strong bounding pulses in the upper extremities
B. Cool legs and feet
C. Machine-like murmur only on systole
D. Tet spells with activity
E. Severe cyanosis
F. Absent/diminished femoral pulses
The answers are: A, B, and F. These are all signs and symptoms present in CoA.
4. You’re performing a head-to-toe- assessment on a newborn with severe coarctation of the aorta. You note a systolic heart murmur. Where is this heart murmur best auscultated in a patient with this condition?
A. at the 4th intercostal space left to the sternal border
B. at the left interscapular area
C. at the 2nd intercostal space right to the sternal border
D. at the mid-subclavicular line right of the sternal border
The answer is B. The type of heart murmur generally present in CoA is a systolic murmur. It is best heard in the interscapular area on the left (which is the back near the shoulder blade).
5. You’re providing discharge education to the parents of a child who just had surgery to repair coarctation of the aorta. What should the nurse include in the teaching about issues that can arise after surgery that must be closely monitored by a cardiologist? Select all that apply:
A. Dilation of the aorta
B. Restenosis of the aorta
The answers are B and D. After repair of the aorta, there is always the chance the aorta can narrow again (restenosis) and that the child continues to have hypertension that must be treated with medication. The cardiologist will need to monitor the patient for this long-term.
6. As the nurse you know that some patients who have coarctation of the aorta will develop collateral circulation of the arteries due to the abnormality on the aorta. Which option below indicates a patient is experiencing collateral circulation?
A. Chest x-ray that demonstrates notching on the ribs
B. A harsh diastolic murmur on inspiration at the 2nd intercostal border
C. Ejection fraction of 12% on an echocardiogram
D. Chest x-ray that demonstrates cardiomegaly
The answer is A. Notching of the ribs is due to collateral circulation in CoA. The body creates extra circulation to bypass the narrowing, which will be seen on the ribs and cause them to have a notched out appearance on a chest x-ray.
7. After the birth of a newborn with severe coarctation of the aorta, the physician orders a prostaglandin infusion. As the nurse you know that this medication will have what type of therapeutic effects? Select all that apply:
A. Prevent the foramen ovale from closing
B. Allow a connection between the aorta and pulmonary artery
C. Decrease the workload on the left ventricle
D. Increase blood flow to the lower extremities
The answers are B, C, and D. If CoA is severe in a newborn, they may be started on a prostaglandin infusion to keep the ductus arteriosus open (allows a connection between the pulmonary artery and aorta), which will help decrease the work load on the left ventricle and help blood to flow to the lower extremities.
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