Difference Between Arteries and Veins: Types of Arteries and Veins

Difference Between Arteries and Veins 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.

If you have been placing one for the other or perhaps have been confused on what makes each of it different then you should read this article to the end to figure this all out once and for all.

Difference Between Arteries and Veins

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.

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.

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Types of Arteries and Veins

Following are the different types of arteries and veins.

Types of Arteries

There are three types of arteries:

Elastic Arteries

Elastic arteries are the large vessels coming out of the heart. For example, they include the pulmonary artery and the aorta. The aorta is the main artery carrying blood away from the heart.

Types of Arteries

The heart forcefully pumps blood out to keep it moving around the body. Elastic arteries must be flexible to handle surges of blood. They expand as the heart pushes blood out.

Elastin is a protein found in many tissues that allow flexibility, including elastic arteries.

Muscular Arteries

Elastic arteries feed blood into muscular arteries, such as the femoral or coronary arteries.

Smooth muscle fibers make up the walls of muscular arteries. The muscles allow these arteries to expand and contract. These changes in size control how much blood moves through the arteries.

Arterioles

Arterioles are the smallest type of artery. They distribute blood from larger arteries through networks of capillaries.

The outer layer of arterioles also contains smooth muscle that allows for expansions and contractions.

Types of veins

The same layers make up arteries and veins, but veins are thinner and have less muscle, allowing them to hold more blood.

Types of veins

Veins typically contain around 70% of blood in the body at any one time.

Venules are the smallest type of vein. They have very thin walls to hold lots of blood. They feed low-oxygen blood through capillaries from arteries directly into veins.

The blood then moves back to the heart through a series of veins of increasing size and muscle.

There are two main types of veins, pulmonary and systemic.

People can further classify systemic veins into either:

  • Deep veins: These veins usually have a corresponding artery nearby and are in muscle tissue. These veins may have a one-way valve to prevent blood from flowing backward.
  • Superficial veins: These veins do not have an artery with the same name nearby and are close to the surface of the skin. They may also have a one-way valve.
  • Connecting veins: These small veins allow blood to flow from the superficial veins to the deep veins.

Anatomy

Veins and Arteries consist of three layers trusted source:

  • Tunica Adventitia: The outer layer of a blood vessel consists of collagen and elastin and is known as the tunica adventitia.
  • This layer allows the vessel to expand or contract, depending on what type of vein or artery it is. This feature is important for controlling blood pressure.
  • Tunica Media: This is the middle later of a blood vessel. Elastin and muscle fibers make up the tunica media.
  • The amount of elastin or muscle varies, depending on the type of blood vessel. For example, elastic arteries contain few muscle fibers in their tunica media.
  • Tunica Intima: This name refers to the inner layer of a blood vessel. It mostly contains elastic membranes and tissues and can include valves that help the blood move in the right direction.

Cardiovascular System

The cardiovascular system refers to the heart and blood vessels together. The system makes up a closed circuit of vessels that transport blood around the body.

Cardiovascular System

The cardiovascular system is essential to support human life. It is the first major organ network to develop in an embryo.

All body tissues need oxygen and nutrients to survive. They also require the removal of waste substances that are a byproduct of metabolism.

The blood is essential to both providing oxygen and nutrients and removing waste from tissues.

The heart pumps blood around the body. It must work constantly and with enough force to ensure all bodily tissues receive enough blood to function.

Disruptions to the can have severe consequences.

Cardiovascular diseases are a group of disorders that affect the heart and blood vessels, such as coronary heart disease.

These diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for around 17.9 millionTrusted Source deaths in 2016.

Differences Between Arteries and Veins

The following are the major differences between arteries and veins:

ARTERIESVEINS
Functions
Involved in carrying oxygenated blood except for pulmonary arteriesInvolved in carrying deoxygenated blood except for pulmonary veins
Walls
Consists of three distinct layers, which are rigid, thicker and highly muscular.Consists of three distinct layers, which are thinner and less muscular.
Position
Located deep within the body.Peripherally located closer to the skin.
Appearance
Red in colour.Blue in colour.
Transports
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.
Oxygen Level
Comparatively higher oxygen level.Comparatively low oxygen level.
 Carbon dioxide Level 
The level of carbon dioxide is lowThe 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
Lumen is narrow.Lumen is wide.
Valves
Valves are absentValves are present
Disorders
Arteries are at a greater risk of certain diseases like angina pectoris, atherosclerosis, etc.Veins are less susceptible to diseases such as varicose veins.

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.

Summary

Arteries are a type of blood vessel that transports blood away from the heart. Veins carry blood back to the heart.

Along with capillaries, these blood vessels are responsible for moving blood to and from tissues around the body.

The heart pumps blood through a complex system of blood vessels. There are several types of arteries and veins with different functions.

For example, some contain more muscle for changing how much blood they carry.

The cardiovascular system is essential to human life. Disruptions in the heart or blood vessels can be severe and, sometimes, fatal.

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