In simple terms, arteries carry blood away from the heart and veins carry blood toward the heart. Arteries usually are much thicker. They have thick walls with muscle tissue.
If you cut an artery you are in serious trouble as they carry a huge amount of blood and all the life force of your body. Veins on the other hand have thinner walls and valves which keep your blood flowing throughout your body.
Tiny veins can pop regularly without much damage though this is what causes bruising.
Let’s look at characteristics in more detail.
- Arteries ferry blood from our hearts to all the tissues and organs of the body.
- Veins ferry your blood from all the tissues and organs of your body right back to the heart.
- Arteries ferry the oxygenated blood from your heart except for the pulmonary artery.
- Veins carry deoxygenated blood from the tissues of your body back to the heart except for the pulmonary vein.
Strength And Thickness
- Arteries have a thick muscular wall with stretchy and elastic properties.
- Veins have thin walls that have no elasticity and a less muscular construction.
Depth In The Body
- Arteries are normally found deeper in the body.
- Veins are present closer to the skin’s surface, which is why they’re faintly visible.
- There are no valves in arteries.
- There are valves in veins.
- Arteries have a narrow lumen.
- Veins have a wide lumen.
- Arteries are flowing blood under much higher pressure than the average vein.
- In veins, blood flows at a much lower pressure.
- Arteries are reddish.
- Veins appear blue.
- Arteries are either pulmonary or systemic.
- Veins are either systemic pulmonary deep veins or superficial veins.
Difference In Diameter
- Arteries have an internal diameter that is narrower at roughly 4 mm.
- Veins have a wider internal diameter of approximately 5 mm
- Arteries have a lower capacity of around 15%
- Veins have a high capacity of around 65%
- Visually, arteries show spurting transportation of blood that aligns with the pulse of the heart.
- Veins show the slow, steady movement of the blood.
Pulse Of The Heart
- The Pulse of the heart is visibly detected in the arteries.
- Veins host a slower transportation of blood therefore pulse is not detected.
- The walls of the artery are less flexible.
- The walls of veins are thin and collapsible.
Name Of The Thickest Layer
- The thickest layer of the artery is called the tunica media
- The thickest layer of the vein is called tunica adventitia
At The Time Of Death
- When we die, our arteries are emptied.
- Conversely, veins fill up when we die, as the heart no longer pumps the blood out of them.
- Arterial blood is high in oxygen
- The blood in veins has a lower level of oxygen as it has been absorbed by the body.
- Arterial blood contains low levels of CO2
- Venous blood is high and CO2
- Blood squirts from arteries due to the high pressure it is under.
- Blood pools in injured veins.
- Arteries contract, creating pressure to push the blood.
- Veins do not contract.
- Arterial conditions include Atherosclerosis, Angina Pectoris, Atherogenesis- myocardial ischemia.
- Venous diseases include varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis.