Are you preparing to take the Pathology Final Exam in Respiratory Therapy school? If so, good, because you have definitely landed on the right page. That’s because, below, you can get access to our study guide that lists out a variety of practice questions covering a wide range of topics about pathology and all of the diseases in Respiratory Therapy.

Now of course, each and every Respiratory program is different, but still, this study guide will serve as a fantastic review for everything you learned throughout the semester concerning Pathology. So are you ready to get started?

Below you can find all of the practice questions that can help you prepare for your Pathology Final Exam. If you want the correct answers as well, you can get them (free) by Clicking Here

Pathology Final Exam Practice Questions and Review:

Question 1

A 56-year-old patient arrives to the ER with extreme shortness of breath. Upon observation, you note that the patient has an increased AP chest diameter, using accessory muscles and pursed-lips to breathe. The following ABG results are available. Based on this data, what treatment would you recommend?

pH 7.28
PaCO2 97 mmHg
HCO3 37 mmHg
PaO2 40 mmHg

  1. Recommend administration of 50% FiO2 via venturi mask and monitor closely
  2. Administer K+ and Cl- solutions via an IV
  3. Recommend initiation of BiPAP ventilation and 40% FiO2
  4. Recommend intubation and mechanical ventilation with 100% FiO2


Question 2

A 74-year-old man with a long history of emphysema and chronic bronchitis enters the ER is respiratory distress. His RR is 34/minute and labored. His HR is 115/minute and BP is 170/120. What is the clinical interpretation of the following ABG (in addition to hypoxemia)?

pH 7.51
PaCO2 68 mmHg
PaO2 49 mmHg
HCO3- 53 mEq/L

  1. Acute alveolar hyperventilation
  2. Acute ventilatory failure
  3. Acute alveolar hyperventilation superimposed on chronic ventilatory failure
  4. Acute ventilatory failure superimposed on chronic ventilatory failure


Question 3

A 74-year-old patient with a long history of COPD enters the ER in respiratory distress. His respiratory rate is 34/min and labored. His heart rate is 115/min and temperature is 101.9 degrees F. His ABG values are as follows:

pH 7.57
PaCO2 68 mmHg
HCO3- 37 mM/L
PaO2 49 mmHg

What treatment would you recommend for this patient?

  1. Recommend administration of K+ and Cl- IV solution
  2. Mechanical ventilation with a FiO2 of 60%
  3. Recommend administration of BiPAP and FiO2 of 100%
  4. Administer 30% O2 via a venturi mask and suggest a course of antibiotic therapy


Question 4

A bony abnormality that exist when the sternum bulges outward (pigeon breast) is known as:

  1. Pectus excavatum
  2. Kyphosis
  3. Scoliosis
  4. Pectus carinatum


Question 5

In which of the pulmonary disorders would you expect to see a faster respiratory rate and decreased tidal volume?

  1. Pulmonary fibrosis
  2. Emphysema
  3. Pneumonia
  4. Chronic bronchitis


Question 6

A patient’s electrolyte panel reveals a K+ level of 3.0 mEq/L and a Cl- level of 73 mEq/L. This would be documented as:

  1. Hypocarbia and hypochromia
  2. Hypocalcemia and hypocapnia
  3. Hypoglycemia and hypoxemia
  4. Hypochloremia and hypokalemia


Question 7

An abnormal pulsation that exists as a result of right ventricular heart failure is known as:

  1. clubbing
  2. abdominal paradox
  3. right ventricular heave
  4. cor pulmonale


Question 8

Confusion and agitation may be seen in patients with severe hypoxemia. This is due to the effects of:

  1. Hepatomegaly
  2. Cerebral hypoxia
  3. Hyperventilation
  4. Cor Pulmonale


Question 9

A decrease of white blood cells is known as:

  1. leukocytosis
  2. leukopenia
  3. anemia
  4. polycythemia


Question 10

Diffusion of oxygen from the air through the A/C membrane to the blood is known as:

  1. external respiration
  2. internal respiration


Question 11

During an assessment of a patient, the RCP places her hand on a patient’s right lower lobe and asks the patient to repeat “99”. Findings include decreased tactile fremitus in the RLL as compared to the left. This finding is consistent with:

  1. Pleural effusion of the RLL
  2. Pneumothorax of the LLL
  3. Pneumonia of the RLL
  4. Atelectasis of the RLL


Question 12

Guillian-Barre is which type of dysfunction?

  1. CNS
  2. Pulmonary dysfunction
  3. Neuromuscular
  4. Musculoskeletal


Question 13

Hepatomegaly, jugular venous distension, and a right ventricular heave are consistent with what clinical condition?

  1. Right heart failure
  2. Congestive heart failure
  3. Tension pneumothorax
  4. Severe asthma


Question 14

How far above the carina should the tip of the endotracheal tube be seen on the chest x-ray?

  1. 5 to 7 cm
  2. 4 to 6 cm
  3. 2 to 3 cm
  4. 7 to 9 cm


Question 15

Increased resonance to percussion is associated with which of the following conditions?

  1. Pneumonia
  2. Lung tumor
  3. Emphysema
  4. Pleural Effusion


Question 16

Inward movement of the abdomen with each inspiratory effort is known as:

  1. Paradoxical pulse
  2. Respiratory alternans
  3. Hepatomegaly
  4. Abdominal paradox


Question 17

It is best to hyperventilate a ventilated patient with a head injury. This helps by producing _______________, which in turn will result in _______________ and reduce the ICP.

  1. Acidosis; vasoconstriction
  2. Alkalosis; vasodilatation
  3. Alkalosis; vasoconstriction
  4. Acidosis; vasodilatation


Question 18

Oxygenation failure is present when the PaO2 falls below what value despite a FiO2 of 50%?

  1. 55 mmHg
  2. 60 mmHg
  3. 65 mmHg
  4. 50 mmHg


Question 19

Which of the following are initial treatments for a patient who presents to the ER with the diagnosis of an overdose?

  1. Stomach lavage
  2. Possible dialysis to excrete drugs
  3. Immediate intubation and mechanical ventilation
  4. High ventilatory rates to produce respiratory alkalosis


Question 20

The following data are collected from a patient’s chart:

PH- 7.44
HCO3- 19 mEq/liter
PaCO2- 32 torr
SaO2- 95%
PaO2- 95 torr
Hb- 6 gm/dl

Which of the following lab values is most important in assessing this patient’s oxygen-carrying capacity?

  1. pH
  2. PaO2
  3. Hb
  4. SaO2


Question 21

The goal of mechanical ventilation with chronic CO2 retention is:

  1. Return pH to the patient’s normal baseline values
  2. Increase the minute ventilation
  3. Return the PaCO2 to the patient’s normal baseline values
  4. Reduce the patient’s maximum inspiratory pressure


Question 22

The lowest acceptable PaO2 for a 75-year-old patient is about:

  1. 70 mmHg
  2. 55 mmHg
  3. 60 mmHg
  4. 65 mmHg


Question 23

The most common cause of hypoxemia is:

  1. Anatomic shunt
  2. V/Q mismatch
  3. Low metabolic rate
  4. Hyperventilation


Question 24

What change in the patient’s vital signs is expected as a result of fever?

  1. Decrease in blood pressure
  2. Increase in respiratory rate
  3. Increase in blood pressure
  4. Decrease in heart rate


Question 25

What clinical condition is most closely associated with harsh bronchial breath sounds over the affected region?

  1. Pneumonia
  2. Pneumothorax
  3. Emphysema
  4. Asthma


Question 26

What clinical condition is most likely to produce coarse crackles?

  1. Atelectasis
  2. Excessive airway secretions
  3. Sudden opening of peripheral airways
  4. Narrow airways


Question 27

What condition is often associated with abdominal paradox?

  1. Diaphragm fatigue
  2. Severe asthma
  3. Cor Pulmonale
  4. Heart failure


Question 28

What is the correct interpretation of the following ABG values ( in addition to hypoxemia)?

pH- 7.17
PaCO2- 77 mmHg
PaO2- 54 mmHg
HCO3- 25 mEq/L

  1. Acute ventilatory failure on chronic ventilatory failure
  2. Acute alveolar hyperventilation (respiratory alkalosis)
  3. Acute ventilatory(respiratory) failure
  4. Acute alveolar hyperventilation superimposed on chronic ventilatory failure


Question 29

What method of weaning helps the patient overcome the workload imposed by the resistance of the artificial airway?

  2. Pressure support
  3. All of the above
  4. T –piece

Question 30

What term is used to describe shortness of breath in the upright position?

  1. Eupnea
  2. Apnea
  3. Platypnea
  4. Orthopnea


Question 31

What term is used to describe sputum that appears to contain pus?

  1. Fetid
  2. Purulent
  3. Phlegm
  4. Mucoid


Question 32

What term is used to describe sputum that is clear and thick?

  1. Mucoid
  2. Fetid
  3. Purulent
  4. Phlegm


Question 33

What term is used to describe the lateral curvature of the spine?

  1. Pectus carinatum
  2. Scoliosis
  3. Kyphosis
  4. Pectus excavatum


Question 34

What test is most useful for evaluating renal function?

  1. Platelet Count
  2. Creatinine and BUN
  3. Blood glucose
  4. Sweat chloride


Question 35

What treatment alternative is most appropriate when the patient’s ventilation is adequate and the problem with oxygenation is likely to resolve quickly?

  1. Intermittent Mandatory Ventilation
  2. Mechanical ventilation
  3. Mechanical ventilation with PEEP
  4. Mask CPAP


Question 36

What treatment alternative is often needed when the patient has refractory hypoxemia due to shunting?

  1. Mechanical ventilation
  2. Increased FiO2
  3. Mechanical ventilation with PEEP
  4. Intermittent Mandatory Ventilation


Question 37

What type of white blood cell is most responsible for responding to allergic reactions?

  1. Neutrophils
  2. Eosinophils
  3. Monocytes
  4. Lymphocytes


Question 38

What type of white blood cell would most likely be elevated if a patient had an acute viral infection?

  1. Monocyte
  2. Neutrophil
  3. Eosinophil
  4. Lymphocyte


Question 39

Wheezing is:

  1. Produced by bronchospasm
  2. Generally auscultated during inspiration
  3. A cardinal finding of asthma
  4. Usually heard as a high-pitched sound


Question 40

When lung compliance decreases as in restrictive diseases, which of the following is seen?

  1. Ventilatory rate usually decreases
  2. Tidal volume usually decreases
  3. Ventilatory rate usually increases
  4. Tidal volume usually increases


Question 41

Which of the following are acceptable methods for weaning patients from mechanical ventilation?

  1. Pressure support ventilation
  2. IMV/SIMV mode of ventilation
  3. T-piece trials


Question 42

Which of the following best describes a patient being treated effectively for a shunt-like effect?

  1. Post-op patient receiving supplemental FiO2 via an oxygen mask
  2. Patient on a ventilator suffering from pulmonary embolism
  3. Patient receiving 5 cmH2O PEEP via mechanical ventilation due to aspiration pneumonia
  4. Patient receiving 5 cmH2O mask CPAP at an FiO2 of 100% due to end-stage pulmonary fibrosis


Question 43

Which of the following characteristics is typical for Pleuritic chest pain?

  1. A dull pressure sensation
  2. May radiate to the arm
  3. Increases with inspiration
  4. Centrally located


Question 44

Which of the following clinical findings would be associated with a patient diagnosed with COPD?

  1. Air trapping
  2. Decreased V/Q ratio
  3. Increased FEV1
  4. Increased airway resistance
  5. Prolonged expiration


Question 45

Which of the following conditions is NOT likely to cause hemoptysis?

  1. Pulmonary embolism
  2. Bronchogenic carcinoma
  3. Heart failure
  4. Pneumonia


Question 46

Which of the following conditions is most likely to produce a dry cough?

  1. Cystic Fibrosis
  2. Heart Failure
  3. Asthma
  4. Bronchitis


Question 47

Which of the following conditions is most likely to produce an abnormal white shadow on the chest x-ray?

  1. Pneumothorax
  2. Pneumonia
  3. Emphysema
  4. Asthma


Question 48

Which of the following paramaters is most indicative of the patient’s tissue oxgyenation status?

  1. Sensorium
  2. Blood pressure
  3. Pulse pressure
  4. Heart rate


Question 49

Which of the following represents compensated metabolic alkalosis?

  1. pH 7.45; PaCO2 61; HCO3- 41
  2. pH 7.52; PaCO2 45; HCO2- 29
  3. pH 7.45; PaCO2 26; HCO3- 19
  4. pH 7.55; PaCO2 21; HCO3- 17


Question 50

While listening to a 53-year-old-male patient, the RCP notices that the patient has a S3 galloping heart sound. This could be caused by which of the following?

  1. Renal failure
  2. Heart failure as the result of an MI
  3. Enlarged liver
  4. COPD


Question 51

While reviewing a patient’s chart, the respiratory therapist notices the patient’s Hb level is 11g/dL and the SpO2 is 88%. Which of the following is true regarding this situation?

  1. The patient has 3.44 grams of desaturated Hb
  2. The patient has 1.32 grams of desaturated Hb
  3. The patient is not likely cyanotic


Question 52

While reviewing the chart of a patient with lobar pneumonia, the respiratory care practitioner notices that the respiratory rate for the last 24 hours has been between 28 to 42 /min on a 50% venturi mask. Which of the following most likely caused the increased respiratory rate?

  1. Hypothermia
  2. Hypoxemia
  3. Weakened diaphragm
  4. Hyperalkemia


Question 53

You are assessing a patient and determine that the patient’s blood pressure is 70/53 mmHg and the patient has a temperature of 90.5 degrees F. From this information, you would expect:

  1. Clubbing of the digits
  2. Capillary refill time of 6 seconds
  3. Full and bounding pulse rate of 88 bpm
  4. Coarse breath sounds in the lung bases


Question 54

You obtain the following ABGs and get the following results:

pH- 7.28
PaCO2- 110 mmHg
PaO2- 45 mmHg
HCO3- 37 mEq/L

You observe that the pH is too high for the PaCO2. What would the pH be if this were an acute situation? (Use 7.40 as your baseline pH and 40 as your baseline PaCO2)

  1. 7.00
  2. 7.10
  3. 7.05
  4. 7.15


Question 55

Your patient has a PaO2 of 38 mmHg. This is best described as:

  1. Mild hypoxemia
  2. Severe hypoxemia
  3. Moderate hypoxemia
  4. Depends on patient’s age


Question 56

Your patient has been living at high altitude for several years. What lab result do you expect?

  1. Leukocytosis
  2. Lymphocytosis
  3. Leukopenia
  4. Polycythemia


Question 57

Which of the following represents a normal Albumin level?

  1. 6.0 g/dL
  2. 4.0 g/dL
  3. 3.0 g/dL
  4. 7.5 g/dL


Question 58

A lab method used to confirm the identity of microbes and the antibiotics that these microbes are sensitive to is known as:

  1. Gram stain
  2. WBC
  3. Culture and sensitivity (C&S)
  4. Acid-fast stain


Question 59

Which of the following describes an intrapulmonary shunt?

  1. Ventilation in excess of perfusion
  2. Perfusion in excess of ventilation
  3. Lung regions with poorly ventilated alveoli but properly perfused with blood
  4. Lung regions with well-ventilated alveoli but poorly perfused with blood


Question 60

Inverse I:E ratio ventilation is a strategy sometimes used to improve oxygenation in which of the following disorders?

  1. Exacerbation of COPD
  2. Pulmonary Edema
  3. ARDS
  4. Head trauma

Final Thoughts

So there you have it. I hope that this study guide was a great review for you for your Pathology Final Exam. As I mentioned before, I realize that each Respiratory Therapy program is different, so I may not have included a question about every single topic that you’ll see on your final exam. Still, if you go through this information, I have no doubt that you can boost your knowledge and improve your score at the same time. 

🔒And if you need the answers to these questions, you can get access to them by Clicking Here