An 81-year-old female client of a long-term care facility has a history of congestive heart failure. The nurse practitioner caring for the client has positioned her sitting up at an angle in bed and is observing her jugular venous distention. Why is jugular venous distention a useful indicator for the assessment of the client’s condition?


A. Peripheral dilation is associated with decreased stroke volume and ejection fraction.

B. Increased cardiac demand causes engorgement of systemic blood vessels, of which the jugular vein is one of the largest.

C. Blood backs up into the jugular vein because there are no valves at the point of entry into the heart.

D. Heart valves are not capable of preventing backflow in cases of atrial congestion.

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