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NURS 6501: Advanced Pathophysiology

Sample Answer for NURS 6501: Advanced Pathophysiology Included After Question

NURS 6501: Advanced Pathophysiology

Module 2: Cardiovascular and Respiratory Disorders 

What’s Happening This Module? 

Module 2: Cardiovascular and Respiratory Disorders is a 2-week module, Weeks 3 and 4 of the course. In this module, you will examine fundamental concepts of cellular processes and the alterations that lead to various cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and disorders. You will evaluate the genetic environment and its impact on these diseases. You will also evaluate the impact of patient characteristics, including racial and ethnic variables, on physiological functioning.  

NURS 6501: Advanced Pathophysiology

What do I have to do?     
When do I have to do it?     

Review your Learning Resources 
Days 1–7, Weeks 3 and 4 

Knowledge Check: Cardiovascular and Respiratory Disorders 
Complete by Day 7 of Week 3 

Module 2 Case Study Analysis 
You are encouraged to work on your Module 2 Assignment throughout the module. However, this Assignment is not due until Day 7 of Week 4. 

Go to the Week’s Content 


Week 3 


Week 4 





Module 2 Assignment: Case Study Analysis 


A Sample Answer For the Assignment: NURS 6501: Advanced Pathophysiology

Title: NURS 6501: Advanced Pathophysiology

Case Study Analysis 

The assigned case study demonstrates a middle age female patient with chief complaints of dyspnea, fever, and cough with thick green sputum production for 3 days. The patient also reports a history of chronic cough and COPD. She claims that the cough has worsened in the past few days. Examination findings reveal a flattened diaphragm and increased AP diameter. The patient also has hyper resonance with rhonchi and coarse rales in all the lung fields. The purpose of this discussion is to provide an analysis of the patient described above and the cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary pathophysiologic processes that contributed to the patient’s symptoms.  

Pathophysiologic Processes 

The patient presents with a history of COPD and chronic cough with thick green sputum. The current symptoms of dyspnea, cough, and fever indicate exacerbation of COPD with complications of a respiratory infection (Hikichi et al., 2018). The patient’s shortness of breath resulted from the obstructed airways secondary to inflammation, sputum hypersecretion, and airway remodeling. Elastic recoil reduction in the lungs following obstruction of the airways and emphysema causes partial air expelling and active hyperinflation (Santus et al., 2019). Accumulation of the mucus leads to coughing by the patient as an attempt to try and clear the airways. The increased production of thick green sputum and fever are signs of bacterial infection in COPD exacerbation. 

Racial/Ethnic Variables 

There is limited evidence on the racial/ethnic variables in the characteristics and progress of COPD. Non-Hispanic whites have however been reported to have the highest burden associated with symptoms of chronic bronchitis and cardiovascular diseases as comorbidities of COPD (Park et al., 2021). African Americans on the other hand, have reported the highest incidences of dyspnea due to lifestyle habits like smoking and reduced exercise capacity (Lee et al., 2018). Korean patients on the other hand were more likely to be underweight as compared to other ethnic groups, hence reduced COPD symptoms and complications (D’Cruz et al., 2020). Generally, the ethnic variables in COPD are due to sociodemographic differences in lifestyle habits, education, and cultural beliefs among other factors.  

How Processes interact to Affect the Patient 

As discussed above, the pathophysiology of COPD involves the interaction of both cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary processes. Impairments in the cardiopulmonary functioning leading to COPD are associated with several risk factors including smoking, exposure to chemicals, race, age, and history of asthma (Hikichi et al., 2018). The above risk factors have the potential of resulting in pathological changes within the peripheral bronchioles, parenchyma of the lungs, and central airways. Structural changes in the airways include ciliary abnormalities, focal squamous metaplasia, atrophy, inflammation, airway smooth muscle hyperplasia, and bronchial wall thickening leading to chronic bronchitis (Santus et al., 2019). When the air spaces enlarge permanently distal to the bronchial on the terminals, the alveoli surface area that is available for gaseous exchange is usually reduced leading to emphysema. The above mechanisms contribute to the patient’s symptoms such as shortness of breath, chronic cough, increased sputum production, and fever. 


The middle-aged patient in the provided case study presents with symptoms indicating COPD exacerbation. Several cardiopulmonary processes contribute to the development of the patient’s condition such as the small (peripheral) bronchioles, large (central) airways, and the lung parenchyma. However, with a comprehensive understanding of the pathophysiology of the patient’s condition, it will be easier for the clinician to develop the most effective treatment plan.  



D’Cruz, R. F., Murphy, P. B., & Kaltsakas, G. (2020). Sleep-disordered breathing and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a narrative review on classification, pathophysiology and clinical outcomes. Journal of Thoracic Disease, 12(S2), S202–S216. https://doi.org/10.21037/jtd-cus-2020-006 

Hikichi, M., Hashimoto, S., & Gon, Y. (2018). Asthma and COPD overlap the pathophysiology of ACO. Allergology International, 67(2), 179–186. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.alit.2018.01.001 

Lee, H., Shin, S. H., Gu, S., Zhao, D., Kang, D., Joi, Y. R., Suh, G. Y., Pastor-Barriuso, R., Guallar, E., Cho, J., & Park, H. Y. (2018). Racial differences in comorbidity profile among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. BMC Medicine, 16(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-018-1159-7 

Park, H. Y., Lee, H., Kang, D., Choi, H. S., Ryu, Y. H., Jung, K.-S., Sin, D. D., Cho, J., & Yoo, K. H. (2021). Understanding racial differences of COPD patients with an ecological model: two large cohort studies in the US and Korea. Therapeutic Advances in Chronic Disease, 12, 204062232098245. https://doi.org/10.1177/2040622320982455 

Santus, P., Pecchiari, M., Tursi, F., Valenti, V., Saad, M., & Radovanovic, D. (2019). The Airways’ Mechanical Stress in Lung Disease: Implications for COPD Pathophysiology and Treatment Evaluation. Canadian Respiratory Journal. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/crj/2019/3546056/ 






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