Which defects in which heart valves would coincide with the following: severe dependent edema, paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea, congested liver, distended jugular veins, and productive cough with...

Which defects in which heart valves would coincide with the following: severe dependent edema, paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea, congested liver, distended jugular veins, and productive cough with frothy sputum?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Edema essentially refers to the condition of swelling, especially in response to injury or inflammation caused by illness; however, there are also many types of edema, including dependent edema and cardiogenic pulmonary edema. Dependent edema simply refers to swelling in the extremities, such as the "hands, arms, feet, ankles and legs," due to an increase in fluids trapped in those areas ("Edema: Definition"). Dependent edema can be caused by many factors, even heart failure, just like in cardiogenic pulmonary edema. In cardiogenic pulmonary edema, the alveoli in the lungs fill up with fluid rather than air as a result of a heart problem. When the valves of the heart are functioning normally, blood that has been stripped of its oxygen for use, or deoxigenated blood, flows into the heart's right atrium through the tricuspid valve, one of the upper chambers that recieves blood, and pumps into the right ventricle, again through theĀ tricuspid valve, through pulmonary arteries into the lungs. Inside the lungs, the blood discharges carbon dioxide, becomes oxygenated once again, and is pumped out by the left ventricle through the mitral valve to flow to the rest of the body. Hence, problems arise when the left ventricle is unable to pump out enough blood drawn from the lungs. As a result pressure increases, first in the left atrium, and then in the lungs' veins and capillaries. The increase in swelling from an increase in fluids in the veins and capillaries also pushes fluids from the capillaries into the lungs' air sacs, causing swelling ("Pulmonary edema"). Hence, dysfunction of the heart valves certainly coincides with and causes edema, such as dependent edema and cardiogenic pulmonary edema.

Paraxysmal nocturnal dyspnoea (PND) is a term used to describe a "pattern of symptoms," particularly difficulty breathing at night ("What is paroxysmal noctornal dyspnoea?"). The sufferer, at the onset of an attack, may sound like he/she is wheezing, and the sufferer may also sweat and feel chest pain. The difficulty breathing is a result of fluid being built up in the lungs, similarly to fluid build up experienced with cardiogenic pulmonary edema. Also, just like cardiogenic pulmonary edema, this fluid is built up when the left-side heart valve, the mitral valve, fails, preventing enough fluids from being pumped out of the lungs through the veins and capillaries ("What is paroxysmal noctornal dyspnoea?"). Hence, again, the condition known as PND also directly correlates with dysfunction of the heart valves.

Even congested liver, or more specifically called congestive hepatopathy, can also be caused by heart valve failure, specifically on the right side of the heart ("Congestive Hepatopathy"). One of the causes of right-sided heart failure is tricuspid regurgitation, which means that the tricuspid valve fails to allow blood to "leak from the right ventricle back into the right atrium" ("Heart Valve Disorders"). When the right side of the heart fails, pressure increases in the central veins, and that pressure causes blood to congest in the liver through the inferior vena cava and the hepatic veins ("Congestive Hepatopathy").

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