While caring for a patient with severe heart failure and coronary artery disease, the nurse understands that her patient's decreased preload could be caused by


• Preload is determined by how much the muscles of the heart stretch due to the blood volume that has filled the ventricles at the end of diastole. Preload is decreased by conditions that reduce circulating volume or venous return. This includes hemorrhage, sepsis, and anaphylaxis.

• Incorrect: Fluid overload and heart failure increase the circulating volume and preload.

• Incorrect: A slower heart rate increases filling time which increases the amount of blood that fills the ventricles and increases preload.

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