Arteries and Veins are two different types of blood vessels in the circulatory system and are mainly involved in circulating blood throughout the body. However, the two blood vessels are quite different from each other in terms of function.
One of the major differences between arteries and veins is that the arteries carry oxygenated blood to all body parts, whereas veins carry the deoxygenated blood to the heart with the exception of pulmonary arteries and veins.
Table of Contents
Read on to explore what are arteries and veins and their differences.
Differences Between Arteries and Veins
Following are the major differences between arteries and veins:
|Involved in carrying oxygenated blood except for pulmonary arteries||Involved in carrying deoxygenated blood except for pulmonary veins|
|Consists of three distinct layers, which are rigid, thicker and highly muscular.||Consists of three distinct layers, which are thinner and less muscular.|
|Located deep within the body.||Peripherally located closer to the skin.|
|Red in colour.||Blue in colour.|
|Carry blood away from the heart to various parts of the body.||Carry blood towards the heart from the various parts of the body.|
|Rate of pressure|
|High pressure, as the blood flows by the pumping pressure of the heart.||Low pressure, as the blood flows by the capillary action of the veins.|
|Comparatively higher oxygen level.||Comparatively low oxygen level.|
|Carbon dioxide Level|
|The level of carbon dioxide is low||The level of carbon dioxide is high|
|The direction of Blood Flow|
|In the downward direction from the heart to the body tissues.||In the upward direction from the body tissues to the heart.|
|Lumen is narrow.||Lumen is wide.|
|Valves are absent||Valves are present|
|Arteries are at a greater risk of certain diseases like angina pectoris, atherosclerosis, etc.||Veins are less susceptible to diseases such as varicose veins.|
Also Refer: Aorta vs Pulmonary Artery
Arteries and Veins
Arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart, where it branches into even smaller vessels. Finally, the smallest arteries, called arterioles are further branched into small capillaries, where the exchange of all the nutrients, gases and other waste molecules are carried out.
Veins are the blood vessels present throughout the body. They are tube-like, translucent structures that function by carrying deoxygenated blood from the tissues to the heart for re-oxygenation. Compared to arteries, veins are thin-walled.
Also Refer: Human Heart
Arteries and Veins Diagram
The diagram below represents the difference between the arteries and veins.
Types of Arteries and Veins
Following are the different types of arteries and veins.
Types of Arteries
There are three different types of arteries:
- Elastic arteries: These are also known as conducting arteries that have a thick middle layer that stretches in response to each heart pulse.
- Muscular arteries: These are medium-sized arteries that draw blood from elastic arteries.
- Arterioles: These direct the blood into the capillaries. These are arterial divisions that transport blood away from the heart.
Types of Veins
The different types of veins include:
- Deep Veins: These are located deep within the muscle tissue.
- Superficial Veins: These are closer to the surface of the skin.
- Pulmonary Veins: These transport oxygenated blood to the heart from the lungs.
- Systemic Veins: These are present throughout the body and transport deoxygenated blood to the heart for purification.
Also Refer: Human Circulatory System – Transportation
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Frequently Asked Questions on the Difference between Arteries and Veins
What is the major difference between arteries and veins?
The arteries are responsible for carrying the oxygenated blood away from the heart to different organs. On the contrary, veins carry deoxygenated blood from different organs of the body to the heart for oxygenation.
What are the different types of veins in the human body?
Pulmonary veins, systemic veins, superficial veins and deep veins are the four different types of veins found in the human body.
Why is arterial blood loss more severe than the blood loss from the veins?
The blood pressure of the arteries is much greater than that in the veins. When an artery is cut, the blood spurts out with very high pressure and can be rapid. On the contrary, when a vein is cut, blood flows from it very slowly and has more time to clot. Therefore, it is less severe than arterial blood loss.
Where are the superficial and the deep veins located in the human body?
The superficial veins have very little muscle support and are found near the surface of the skin. The deep veins are located near the leg bones in the centre of the legs and are enclosed by muscles.
Name the largest vein in the human body.
Inferior vena cava is the largest vein in the human body that carries blood from the lower half of the body to the heart.
Name the blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart?
Arteries are the blood vessels, which carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to all other cells, tissues and organs of the body.
Name the largest artery in the human body.
Aorta is the largest artery in the human body. It carries blood away from the heart to different parts of the body.
What are the different layers of arteries and veins?
The three different layers of arteries and veins are:
- The innermost layer or tunica intima.
- The middle layer or tunica media.
- The outermost layer or tunica adventitia.
How are the arteries and veins connected?
The branches of Arteries and Veins are connected by very tiny blood vessels called capillaries.
Also Refer: Circulatory System