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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Compare and contrast the three tunics that make up the walls of most blood vessels
  • Distinguish between elastic arteries, muscular arteries, and arterioles on the basis of structure, location, and function
  • Describe the basic structure of a capillary bed, from the supplying metarteriole to the venule into which it drains
  • Explain the structure and function of venous valves in the large veins of the extremities

Blood is carried through the body via blood vessels. An artery is a blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart, where it branches into ever-smaller vessels. Eventually, the smallest arteries, vessels called arterioles, further branch into tiny capillaries, where nutrients and wastes are exchanged, and then combine with other vessels that exit capillaries to form venules, small blood vessels that carry blood to a vein, a larger blood vessel that returns blood to the heart.

Arteries and veins transport blood in two distinct circuits: the systemic circuit and the pulmonary circuit ( [link] ). Systemic arteries provide blood rich in oxygen to the body’s tissues. The blood returned to the heart through systemic veins has less oxygen, since much of the oxygen carried by the arteries has been delivered to the cells. In contrast, in the pulmonary circuit, arteries carry blood low in oxygen exclusively to the lungs for gas exchange. Pulmonary veins then return freshly oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart to be pumped back out into systemic circulation. Although arteries and veins differ structurally and functionally, they share certain features.

Cardiovascular circulation

This diagram shows how oxygenated and deoxygenated blood flow through the major organs in the body.
The pulmonary circuit moves blood from the right side of the heart to the lungs and back to the heart. The systemic circuit moves blood from the left side of the heart to the head and body and returns it to the right side of the heart to repeat the cycle. The arrows indicate the direction of blood flow, and the colors show the relative levels of oxygen concentration.

Shared structures

Different types of blood vessels vary slightly in their structures, but they share the same general features. Arteries and arterioles have thicker walls than veins and venules because they are closer to the heart and receive blood that is surging at a far greater pressure ( [link] ). Each type of vessel has a lumen    —a hollow passageway through which blood flows. Arteries have smaller lumens than veins, a characteristic that helps to maintain the pressure of blood moving through the system. Together, their thicker walls and smaller diameters give arterial lumens a more rounded appearance in cross section than the lumens of veins.

Structure of blood vessels

The top left panel of this figure shows the ultrastructure of an artery, and the top right panel shows the ultrastructure of a vein. The bottom panel shows a micrograph with the cross sections of an artery and a vein.
(a) Arteries and (b) veins share the same general features, but the walls of arteries are much thicker because of the higher pressure of the blood that flows through them. (c) A micrograph shows the relative differences in thickness. LM × 160. (Micrograph provided by the Regents of the University of Michigan Medical School © 2012)

Questions & Answers

the study of tissues is called
Scandy Reply
microscopic or histology anatomy
What specific types of biological macromolecules do living things require and why?
Marieland Reply
what is partial pressure?
Tariq Reply
it is the pressure exerted by mixture of gases...
What is the Important of studying anatomy and philosophy
Michael Reply
because to know the mechanisms of our body
how many region do we have in human body
nsofor Reply
head thorax abdomen and many kind of...
what is principal ponatine nucleas
Human body can be divided into different regions on the basis of: 1. Systems: e.g. digestive system, respiratory system, excretory system etc.. 2. Parts: e.g. head, thorax, neck, upper limbs, lower limbs etc..
we have 9 region in d human body
what is systematic anatomy?
nsofor Reply
it is the anatomy or study of a certain body system for example the digestive system. or respiratory system.
It is a group of structure that work together to perform a unique function..
describe the division of anatomy and physiology
Vissa Reply
the what and the how
anatomy is the structure. physiology is the function.
what is homeostasis?
the balance if everything in your body
is the tendency of the body to maintain the internal environment
It is the ability of systems and living organisms to adjust its internal environment
how does a saggital plane look like and a frontal plane
susan Reply
saggital plane divides left and right.. frontal plane divides front and back.. I'm trying to upload a picture but idk how.
tnx sis
The sagittal plane is a vertical plane that divides the body into left and right anteriorly whilst the frontal plane divides the body into the posterior(back) and anterior(front) parts. They're all perpendicular to the transverse plane.
what is a neurones?
Angella Reply
how many systems are there in human
It is a cell that specialized to conduct nerve impulse
What is ovulation
Joy Reply
Ovulation is release of mature ovum from ovary
what is physiology
Firdaus Reply
The study of how e body systems or structures function and interrelate with each other
what is the composition of the ground substance?
Nana Reply
large carbohydrates and proteins which is known as acid mucopolysacchrides
you guy welcome
Hi guys am new here
how does the negative feedback helps in maintaining body temperature at its normal range
I need good sites that I can test myself on chapters 1,3,4,5. I have an exam tomorrow
please can you kindly share your questions here after the exams please
What causes the banding pattern seen in the muscle fibril under the electron microscope
what organelles controls protein synthesis?
Katie Reply
hmm...the ribosomes?
are ribisomes made in the rRNA?
nop they are produced by cells of Nucleolus
Is there anything about nerve and muscle physiology?
AMEL Reply
how many types of epithelial tissues do we have
Benedicta Reply
Epithelial tissues are grouped in two ways.. ●Based on the number of layers.(Simple and stratified ) ●Based of their shapes(Squamous,Cuboidal and columnar) Also we can have a combination of the two,say,simple Squamous
awww thanks dearie😊😊😊💖

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