They look alike from above the skin. However, below the skin, arteries and veins are very important and very different. Let’s discuss the main differences between arteries and veins in the article below.
Artery Vs. Vein
First, let’s talk about arteries.
Arteries are blood vessels that are responsible for carrying oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to the rest of the body.
Now, let’s talk about veins.
Veins are blood vessels that carry blood low in oxygen from the body back to the heart for re-oxygenation. Then, the whole process starts over again.
Arteries and veins are two of the body’s main type of blood vessels. These vessels are channels that distribute blood throughout the body. They’re part of two closed systems of tubes that begin and end at the heart. These systems of tubes are either:
- Pulmonary – The pulmonary vessels are arteries that transport oxygen-lacking blood from the heart’s right ventricle to the lungs. Pulmonary veins transport oxygen-rich blood back to the heart’s left atrium.
- Systemic – The systemic vessels are arteries that carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart’s left ventricle to the tissues in all parts of the body. They then return oxygen-poor blood through the veins back to the heart’s right atrium.
What Are The Different Types of Arteries?
There are three types of arteries. Each type is composed of three coats: outer, middle, and inner.
- Elastic arteries are also called conducting arteries or conduit arteries. They have a thick middle layer so they can stretch in response to each pulse of the heart. They’re pretty powerful and strong little guys.
- Muscular (distributing) arteries are medium-sized. They draw blood from elastic arteries and branch into resistance vessels. These vessels include small arteries and arterioles.
- Arterioles are the smallest division of arteries that transport blood away from the heart. They direct blood into the capillary networks. These are common in your hands, feet, and smaller parts of the body.
What are the different types of veins?
There are four types of veins:
- Deep veins are located within muscle tissue. They have a corresponding artery nearby.
- Superficial veins are closer to the skin’s surface. They don’t have corresponding arteries. These are prevalent in your hands and feet.
- Pulmonary veins transport blood that’s been filled with oxygen by the lungs to the heart. Each lung has two sets of pulmonary veins, a right and left one.
- Systemic veins are located throughout the body from the legs up to the neck, including the arms and trunk. They transport deoxygenated blood back to the heart.
Now that you know a little bit more about arteries and veins and what makes them different, educate someone else! Or, win at jeopardy next time. Win-win!