Compare arteries and veins based on structure and function. help

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trophyhunter1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Arteries contain muscular walls and their function is to transport blood away from the heart to other parts of the body. Every time the heart beats, the artery beats or pulsates due to the smooth muscle in the walls. Veins are responsible for returning blood to the heart. They are thin-walled in contrast to arteries, containing connective tissue and only a thin layer of smooth muscle. They contain valves which allow blood to flow in one direction--towards the heart and prevents the blood from backing up and going in the wrong direction. Body movements help keep the blood in veins moving as well.

kiaxoxo | Student


-They are 3 layered thick wall (with a lumen inside..a wavy endothelium inside with allow stretching and recoiling...then you get its tunica infima...then its tunica media which is made of smooth muscles and elastic fibres....then you get the tunica externa which is made up of elastic fibres and collagen fibres which give support and protection to inner layers). 

-Prescence of smooth muscles, elastic fibres and collagen fibres.

-Small lumen.

-Blood pressure varies from 16KPa to 4KPa.       (KPa=Kilo Pascal)

-No valves.

-Carries blood away from the heart.

-Carry oxygenated blood (except:-pulmunary artery and umbilical artery)



-3 layered wall but thinner than artery.

-Presence of smooth muscles, elastic fibres and collagen fibres.

-Large lumen

-Blood flow is approximately 1KPa.

-Presence of valves towards the heart.

-Carry deoxygenated blood (except:-pulmunary vein and umbilical vein)


All arteries enter organs to provide with oxygen and veins are the ones which leave the organ with deoxygenated blood. But the only exception is with the heart where it is the veins which enter and leave as arteries.



NOTE:-There is a difference between arteries and arterioles. You must know that Blood vessels subdivide e.g arteries will subdivide to give many arterioles, then capillary network, then viens.