Difference between Arteries and Veins

Arteries and Veins are two different types of blood vessels in the circulatory system and are mainly involved in circulating blood throughout the body from the heart and vice versa. However, the two blood vessels are different from each other.

One of the major difference between arteries and veins is that the arteries carry oxygenated blood to all body parts, whereas, veins carry the deoxygenated blood to the heart.

Also Refer: Circulatory System

Table of Contents

Read on to explore what are arteries and veins and the difference between arteries and veins.

Difference Between Arteries and Veins

Following are the major difference between arteries and veins:

The pure, oxygenated blood, rich in nutrients is carried by the arteries. The impure, deoxygenated blood is carried by the veins.
The walls of arteries are rigid, thicker and highly muscular. The walls of veins are thin and collapsible.
Body location
They are deeply situated within the body. They are superficial, peripherally located closer to the skin.
Arteries are red in colour. Veins are blue in colour.
The direction of Blood Flow
Arteries carry blood away from the heart to various parts of the body. Veins carry blood from the various parts of the body towards the heart.
Flow pressure
The pressure is high as the blood flows by the pumping pressure of the heart. The pressure is low as the blood flows by the capillary action of the veins.
Oxygen level
Oxygen levels are quite high in the arterial blood. Oxygen level is low comparatively.
Level of Carbon-dioxide
The level of the CO2 is low in the arterial blood. The level of the CO2 is high in the venous blood.
Flow direction
From the heart to the body tissues. From the body tissues to the heart.
Lumen is narrow. Lumen is wide.
There are no valves in the artery vessels. There are valves in the veins allowing blood to flow in the upward direction.
Arteries are at a greater risk of certain diseases like angina pectoris, atherosclerosis. Veins are less susceptible to the diseases and few include diseases like 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 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.

Arteries and Veins

Types of Arteries and Veins

There are 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

Discover more about arteries and veins and the difference between the two only at BYJU’S Biology

Frequently Asked Questions on 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 it 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.

Which food is responsible for cleaning the artery?

Olive oil, watermelon, avocado, fish, asparagus, nuts, broccoli, turmeric, etc., are the important food for cleaning the artery.

How are arteries and veins connected?

The branches of Arteries and Veins are connected by a very tiny blood vessels called capillaries.


  1. Providence Alexander

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