Circulatory System Case Studies

Made By: Lindsay Hofer, Maddie Lazuka, & Jackie Gueulette

Blood Disease

Lymphoma Case Study

  • Gabe is a 63-year-old Caucasian male who used to work as an exterminator when he was younger. Gabe was fairly active for his age, but has stopped taking his daily walk due to excessive coughing, chest pain, and fatigue. Gabe is also worried because he has been losing weight even though he has stopped exercising and he has been experiencing swollen lymph nodes in his neck. Since his symptoms have persisting for several months and there is a history of cancer in his family, Gabe goes in to see the local doctor.
  • Gabe and his wife go in to see the doctor, who asks Gabe a series of questions such as: when did you first begin experiencing symptoms, have your symptoms been continuous or occasional, how severe are your symptoms, is there a history of cancer in your family. Gabe tells the doctor that he has been experiencing his symptoms for several months, his symptoms are continuous and severe, and his mother had lymphoma. After this the doctor gives Gabe a physical examination, orders blood tests, and an MRI.
  • After the tests are done, the doctor tells Gabe that his liver is enlarged, his blood tests showed no infections or diseases, and there were possible tumors from the MRI scan. The doctor thinks that Gabe may have non- Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The doctor recommends taking a biopsy of Gabe’s lymph node tissue for testing to confirm his diagnosis. After his lymph node biopsy, Gabe returns home and receives the call a few days later that he has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The doctor tells Gabe that his lymph-node cells have been multiplying uncontrollably and producing cancerous cells that began to invade other cells in the body. The doctor tells Gabe to come in to discuss his treatment options.
  • The next day, Gabe and his wife go to the doctor’s office. While there the doctor recommends that Gabe undergo several months of chemotherapy once. He also recommends that Gabe take a drug called Zevalin, which is a radioimmunotherapy drug that carries special antibodies to the cancer cells where they attach directly to the cancer cells and deliver radiation directly to the cancerous cells. The doctor also recommends that Gabe have a support system during this time. Lastly the doctor tells Gabe that since they caught the lymphoma early and since Gabe was so healthy and active that he has a better chance for recovery.
  • Four months later, the lymphoma treatment is working well for Gabe. Gabe goes in once a week for his chemotherapy and takes his Zevalin drug daily. The lymphoma has stopped spreading and the cancer cells are starting to disappear. During his treatment, Gabe is surrounding by a support system of his wife, his two daughters, and his three grandchildren. During chemotherapy, Gabe also enjoys socializing with the therapy dog that comes in to visit him every week. The treatment is working well and Gabe is expected to make a fully recovery although he will still have to come in for monthly checkups afterwards. Gabe is excited to stop treatment and start to spend more time with his grandchildren.
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Works Cited

  • Lymphoma Research Foundation. "About Lymphoma." About Lymphoma - Lymphoma Research Foundation. Lymphoma Research Foundation, 2012. Web. 08 Mar. 2015.
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. "Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 23 Jan. 2015. Web. 08 Mar. 2015.
  • Ratini, Melinda. "Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma." WebMD. WebMd, 28 Apr. 2014. Web. 08 Mar. 2015.

Cardiovascular Disease

(Alcoholic) Cardiomyopathy

  • The patient is a 27 year-old male. Two months ago, the patient notices some swelling in both of his legs, but ignored it as eating too much salt in his daily diet. For three weeks, he has had a shortness of breath during any kind of activity, including very easy physical tasks, and has no history of being overweight or any other physical complications. He has recently been feeling very tired and weak and dizzy, and has felt faint a couple of times, though actually fainting has not occurred.
  • After having extreme dizziness and chest pains, the patient went to the hospital where his doctor used a stethoscope to listen to his heart and lungs for sounds that may suggest cardiomyopathy. For a more accurate diagnosis, the doctor ordered an echo-cardiogram. This showed an enlarged heart and an enlarged left ventricle, as well as less blood being pumped to the body due to the heart muscles being more weak than normal. The EKG showed abnormalities in the heart such as irregular heartbeats but showed no signs of heart failure.
  • The patient has a history of alcohol abuse, multiple trips during his 20s to the emergency room due to alcohol poisoning. The patient says that he still frequently binge drinks alcohol, consuming at least ten drinks of alcohol each day between the hours of 10 p.m. – 1 a.m.
  • After the next couple of months, the patient’s doctor has him come in once a week to have testing done. This included blood tests, a chest X ray to show how enlarged his heart his heart was and whether there was fluid building up in the lungs, a stress test to diagnose when in particle the heart starts beating and working at a faster paste, and genetic testing.
  • Being diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, the patient is prescribed to eat foods that are low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol to reduce risks of high blood pressure and to avoid the use to alcohol. Medicines to lower his heart rate and blood pressure are beta blockers and calcium channel blockers, and also blood thinners to prevent blood clots from forming.
  • If the patient’s disease worsens and is not controlled by oral medications, possible surgical options could include implantation of a pacemaker, left ventricle assist device, or heart transplant.
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Works Cited

  • "Diseases and Conditions Cardiomyopathy." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 24 Jan. 2014. Web. 08 Mar. 2015.

  • "How Is Cardiomyopathy Treated?" U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. National Institutes of Health, 01 Jan. 2011. Web. 08 Mar. 2015.

  • "Symptoms and Diagnosis of Cardiomyopathy." Cardiomyopathy in Adults. American Heart Association, 3 Sept. 2014. Web. 08 Mar. 2015.