Arteries vs. Veins: Major Differences Between Blood Vessels

Arteries and veins are two main types of blood vessels that form the circulatory system along with the heart. The circulatory system is a closed system that begins and ends at the heart and arteries and veins form a significant portion of this closed system. In this article, we will compare these two kinds of blood vessels.

What is an Artery?

Arteries are the blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart and transport it to other parts of the body.

What is a Vein?

Veins are the blood vessels responsible for carrying de-oxygenated blood from the body to the heart.

Diagram of Differences between Arteries and Veins

diagram showing differences between arteries and veins

Table of Differences between Arteries and Veins

Arteries vs. Veins
S.No. Basis of Difference Arteries Veins
1. Direction of Circulation Arteries carry blood away from the heart to the tissues of the body. Veins carry blood from the tissues of the body to the heart.
2. Type of Blood Arteries, except for the pulmonary artery, carry oxygenated blood. Veins, except for the pulmonary veins, carry deoxygenated blood.
3. Type of Walls Arteries have thick and elastic muscular walls. Veins have thin, non-elastic and lesser muscular walls.
4. Location Arteries are normally located deeper inside the body. Veins are located comparatively at the outer side, beneath the skin.
5. Presence and Absence of Valves As the heart pumps blood with force arteries do not need valves to ensure the flow of blood in one direction. This is the reason valves are absent in Arteries. Veins contain valves that ensures one-directional flow of blood. The valves help the blood to flow against the gravity.
6. Size of Lumen Lumen i.e. the hollow space inside the arteries is comparatively less. The internal diameter of arteries is about 4 mm. Lumen i.e. the hollow space inside the veins is comparatively larger. The internal diameter of veins is about 5 mm.
7. Pressure of Blood The pressure of blood flow in artery is high. The pressure of blood flow in veins is low.
8. Color Arteries are reddish in color. Veins are blueish in color.
9. Types Arteries are of two types – Pulmonary artery and Systemic artery. Apart from Pulmonary and Systemic veins are categorized as – superficial veins and deep veins.
10. Volume Arteries contain around 12% of total vascular capacity. Veins contain around 60% of the total blood flow in the body.
11. Pulse Due to the high pressure of blood flow in arteries, the pulse is detectable. Pulse is not detectable through veins as the pressure of the flow of blood is lower in veins.
12. Walls The walls of arteries are rigid. The walls of veins are collapsible.
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