NCLEX : Excretory Physiology

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for NCLEX

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Excretory Physiology

What percentage of resting cardiac output is filtering through the kidneys at any given moment?

Possible Answers:

5-10%

20-25%

15-20%

10-15%

Correct answer:

20-25%

Explanation:

The kidneys receive more blood flow than any single organ, after the liver. 20-25% of the cardiac output of the heart goes to the kidneys for filtration (the liver receives closer to 28%). This is especially significant considering that the kidneys account for approximately 0.5% of total body weight (while the liver makes up closer to 3% of total body weight). 

Example Question #2 : Excretory Physiology

What is the main functional unit of the kidney?

Possible Answers:

The nephron

The Bowman's capsule

The loop of Henle

The glomerulus

Correct answer:

The nephron

Explanation:

The basic functional unit of the kidney is the nephron. The nephron is composed of the glomerulus, which is encased in the Bowman's capsule, the proximal convoluted tubule, the loop of Henle, and distal convoluted tubule.

Example Question #3 : Excretory Physiology

99% of glucose and amino acids are resorbed in what part of the nephron?

Possible Answers:

The glomerulus

The distal tubule

The loop of Henle

The proximal tubule

Correct answer:

The proximal tubule

Explanation:

99% of glucose and amino acids are resorbed by the proximal tubule of the nephron. The loop of Henle and the distal tubule primarily resorb electrolytes and water, while the glomerulus is strictly for filtration and does not resorb solutes. 

Example Question #4 : Excretory Physiology

A nurse notes an elevated plasma creatinine in a patient with mild kidney impairment. How will this generally be reflected in the glomerular filtration rate (GFR)?

Possible Answers:

The GFR will rise, then decrease

The GFR will be decreased

The GFR will be elevated

The GFR will not change

Correct answer:

The GFR will be decreased

Explanation:

The GFR represents the rate at which blood is filtered through the glomeruli of the kidneys. Creatinine is a waste product of muscle metabolism. Healthy glomeruli are capable of filtering creatinine very effectively, wherein creatinine is excreted in the urine. Generally an elevated serum creatinine will be accompanied by a decreased glomerular filtration rate and is strongly predictive of kidney dysfunction. 

Example Question #41 : General Biology

A nurse is performing a urine dip on a patient with edema. The dip stick shows 1+ protein. The patient is not sure if this is a normal finding or not. How should they be counseled?  

Possible Answers:

No amount of protein in the urine is normal

Any urinary protein under 2+ is considered normal

Any urinary protein under 3+ is considered normal

Protein in the urine is a healthy sign of proper excretion

Correct answer:

No amount of protein in the urine is normal

Explanation:

No amount of protein in the urine is considered normal. The capillaries of the glomerulus are covered in a thin layer of cells called podocytes. These podocytes form a very tight filtration system that, when healthy, prevent all large molecules such as proteins from passing out of the glomerulus and into the Bowman's capsule, while allowing the passage of water, electrolytes, and smaller molecules such as glucose and amino acids.

Example Question #5 : Excretory Physiology

What effect does aldosterone have on sodium, water, and potassium in the kidney?

Possible Answers:

Aldosterone decreases sodium and water resorption and increases potassium excretion in the kidney

Aldosterone increases sodium and water resorption and decreases potassium excretion in the kidney

Aldosterone increases sodium and water resorption and increases potassium excretion in the kidney

Aldosterone decreases sodium and water resorption and increases potassium excretion in the kidney

Correct answer:

Aldosterone increases sodium and water resorption and increases potassium excretion in the kidney

Explanation:

Aldosterone is a mineralcorticoid hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex in response to aldosterone II. An rise in plasma angiotensin levels will effect an elevation in blood volume (and hence blood pressure) by increasing the resorption of sodium and water in the kidney and increasing renal excretion of potassium. 

Example Question #43 : General Biology

How much urine is produced by the average adult in 24 hours?

Possible Answers:

500-1000ml per day

250-500ml per day

1500-3000ml per day

1000-2000ml per day

Correct answer:

1000-2000ml per day

Explanation:

While normal function is possible with a urinary output as little as 500ml/day, normal urinary output is between 1000-2000ml per day, with 1200ml being average with adequate fluid intake.

Example Question #44 : General Biology

The absorption of nutrients and electrolytes from food occurs primarily in what digestive organ?

Possible Answers:

The liver

The stomach

The large intestine

The small intestine

Correct answer:

The small intestine

Explanation:

The majority of nutrients and electrolytes from food are absorbed n the small intestine. The remaining material passes into the large intestine for further transformation into stool. The liver and stomach are important sites of digestion and metabolism but are not the primary site of nutrient and electrolyte absorption.

Example Question #45 : General Biology

Which of the following is the main function of the large intestine?

Possible Answers:

Resorption of water from stool

Housing of intestinal flora colonies

Passage of stool toward the rectum

All of these are correct

Correct answer:

All of these are correct

Explanation:

The large intestine serves multiple functions. Large amounts of water are resorbed from stool via aquaporins in the large intestine mucosa, and the remaining matter is passed via a series of slow waves toward the rectum for excretion. In addition the large intestine houses trillions of both beneficial and pathogenic intestinal bacteria and fungi.

Example Question #46 : General Biology

What is the name of the dilated portion of the rectum where stool is stored for elimination via the anus?

Possible Answers:

The anal canal

The sigmoid colon

The haustra coli

The rectal ampulla

Correct answer:

The rectal ampulla

Explanation:

Stool that has passed through the large intestine is stored in the rectal ampulla, a dilated portion of the rectum inferior to the sigmoid colon and superior to the anal canal. From there it can be passed into the anal canal and excreted via the anus. The haustra coli are segments or pouches formed along the length of the small intestine, demarcated by the smooth muscle of the taenia coli.  

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