Difference between Arteries and Veins: 17 Important differences

Difference between Arteries and Veins: 17 Important differences

The body has two major categories of blood vessels: arteries and veins. These tubes, which are routes for distributing blood throughout the body, are a part of two interconnected closed systems that start and end at the heart. Today, we are going to look in detail the difference between arteries and veins.

Arteries and veins are primarily responsible for transporting blood throughout the body. These two blood vessels’ functions, however, are very dissimilar from one another.

We can say that the primary distinction between them is the direction of blood flow—an artery transports blood away from the heart, whereas a vein returns blood to the heart.

In this piece, we’ll discuss how arteries and veins differ and the basics about them and their types and uses. Let’s get into this article on difference between arteries and veins.

What is an artery?

An Artery is a blood vessel that conveys oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the body’s tissues and organs.

They are muscular and have thick walls that keep your blood flowing. In addition, an artery has three layers: the intima, medium, and adventitia. They may measure up to two centimeters and are your body’s biggest type of blood vessel.

The biggest artery in your body is called the aorta— blood from your heart is delivered to your organs by the aorta.

Arterioles are the tiny branches that make up an artery. To regulate your body’s blood pressure, your arteries and arterioles alter in size.

Blood is distributed into capillary beds by arteries repeatedly branching to generate tiny arteries known as arterioles. Microscopically tiny blood veins called capillaries transport blood to the body’s organs. Knowing about arteries in details helps to understand difference between arteries and veins in a better way.

You can also check this detailed article on causes, symptoms as well as treatment of arterial bigeminy.

Layers of the Artery

Each artery consists of a muscular tube that is bordered with smooth tissue. It generally has three layers which consist of the following:

Tunica Intima: Elastic membranes and tissues make up this layer’s innermost layer, aiding the blood’s proper flow. Endothelium, a smooth tissue, lines it.

Tunica Media: This is the middle layer, which is also the thickest. It is made up of smooth muscle and elastin. It enables arteries to handle high heart pressure.

Tunica Adventitia: Collagen and elastin fibers make up this outermost layer, adding to its tensile strength. This layer also allows arteries to expand and contract, which is crucial for regulating blood pressure. It is a connective tissue that serves as an anchor for arteries to the tissues around them. The knowledge on layers of arteries will assist you in making a better understanding on difference between arteries and veins.

Types of Arteries

There are three primary types of arteries: Elastic, muscular, and Arterioles. Information on the types on arteries can assist in knowing difference between arteries and veins. Let’s go into detail on what these are.

  1. Elastic Arteries: These are sometimes referred to as conducting arteries. A thick intermediate layer is present in elastic arteries, allowing them to expand in response to each heartbeat. The aorta and pulmonary arteries are two examples of elastic arteries that emerge from the heart.
  • Muscular Arteries: These are mid-sized arteries that take blood from elastic arteries. These arteries have more smooth muscle fibre and less elastin. The smooth muscle fibres in the elastic arteries enable them to stretch and contract to regulate blood flow in the muscular arteries they feed into. The femoral and Coronary artery are two instances of these arteries. They take blood from elastic arteries and diverge into resistance vessels. Small arteries and arterioles are a few of these vessels.
  • Arterioles: These guide blood toward the capillaries. By using these, the blood is guided into the capillaries. These divisions of the arteries are used to carry blood out from the heart.

What is a Vein?

Veins are generally found near your skin and deliver deoxygenated blood to your heart. Veins depend on valves to keep blood flowing because they lack the muscular layer of arteries. Venules, the smallest blood arteries where veins start, grow larger as they approach the heart.

Deep veins are found inside muscular tissue, unlike superficial veins, which are found closer to the skin’s surface.

In addition, blood from the lungs high in oxygen is sent to the heart through pulmonary veins. Additionally, the body is covered in systematic veins that return blood that is low in oxygen to the heart. Once you know about veins as well, you can easily understand the difference between arteries and veins.

Types of Veins

The types of veins include deep, superficial, pulmonary, and systemic veins.

  • Deep veins: These are situated far inside the muscle tissue. They are close to a corresponding artery.
  • Superficial veins: These are nearer the skin’s surface. No corresponding arteries exist for them.
  • Pulmonary veins: These deliver oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart. Right, and left pulmonary vein sets can be seen in each lung.
  • Systemic veins: These circulate deoxygenated blood to the heart for filtration and are found throughout the body. The information on veins will assist in knowing the difference between arteries and veins.

What are the difference between Arteries and Veins?

Let’s now list out the difference between arteries and veins.

FunctionsIt involves transporting oxygenated blood and removing blood from the heart.It transports blood to the heart and is involved in the transport of deoxygenated blood.
LocationIt can be found deep within the body.It is situated nearer to the skin.
AppearanceThey are crimson because of the oxygenated blood.Because of the deoxygenated blood, it is blue.
Intensity of pressureHigh pressure in the blood is caused by the heart’s pumping pressure.Low pressure because blood flows through veins via capillary action.
Semilunar valvesSemilunar valves are not present except for where an artery leaves the heart.Semilunar valves are spaced regularly throughout veins to stop blood from flowing backward.
Level of oxygenHigher oxygen level in comparison.The oxygen level is relatively low.
Resistance/Capacitance blood vesselsHas Resistance blood vesselsHas Capacitance blood vessels
Carbon dioxideThe carbon dioxide level is low.The carbon dioxide level is high.
ElasticityThey have elastic walls.In contrast to arteries, their walls are not elastic.
Blood flow directionFrom the heart to the body’s tissues in a downward motion.From the body’s tissues to the heart in an upwards motion.
The mediaThe tunica media is made up of elastin and smooth muscle.Here, the tunica media has fewer elastic fibres and is less muscular.
LumenHere, the Lumen is narrow.Here the Lumen is wide.
Detectability of pulseThe pulse is detectable in arteries.You cannot detect the pulse in the veins.
volume of bloodLow blood volume.The blood vessel is higher compared to that in arteries.
Systemic solutionThey are in charge of 30% of the body’s regular blood circulation.They are in charge of about 65% of the body’s regular blood circulation.
Blood flow rateBlood flows at a quick velocity.Blood moves at a slow, steady pace.
ConditionsCertain diseases are more likely to affect the arteries.Veins are less prone to diseases.


The blood vessels known as arteries transport blood away from the heart, dividing it into even more minute vessels. The exchange of all the nutrients, gases and other waste molecules occurs in the tiniest arteries, known as arterioles, which are further divided into tiny capillaries. Knowledge about arteries as well as veins help to make a better understanding on difference between arteries and veins.

Blood vessels found throughout the body are called veins. They are transparent, tube-like structures that transport the deoxygenated blood from the tissues to the heart, where it is reoxygenated. Veins have thinner walls than arteries.

Every cell in your body receives nutrients and oxygen via the circulatory system. Your arteries receive the oxygenated blood that your heart pumps to your cells. Through veins, it removes blood depleted of oxygen from your cells.

Numerous medical problems, some of which are serious, might impair the arteries’ ability to operate. If you experience any symptoms, you should speak with a medical expert. This concludes with this article on difference between arteries and veins.


What is the main difference between the arteries and veins?

The arteries are in charge of transferring oxygenated blood from the heart to various organs. On the other hand, veins transport the body’s deoxygenated blood to the heart for oxygenation.

How come veins are blue?

A light-related theory explains why veins seem blue. The wavelengths of light are reflected and returned to our eyes to form the colors we see. Blue light is reflected back to our eyes, giving the appearance of blue veins.
Unlike red light, blue light does not enter human tissue as thoroughly. Because of this, veins near the skin’s surface will have a higher tendency to reflect blue light back to the eye.

Can you survive artery cutting?

If the radial artery is severed, the patient may become unconscious in as little as 30 seconds and pass away in as little as two minutes. Your arms’ interiors contain the Brachial artery. Even though this artery is deep, cutting it will cause unconsciousness in as little as 15 seconds and death in as little as 90.

What is the largest vein in the human body?

The inferior vena cava, the largest vein in the human body, transfers blood from the lower half of the body to the heart.

What anatomical distinctions exist between arteries and veins?

While arteries have a tight cylindrical structure, veins have a collapsed or distorted appearance.

How are the veins and arteries linked together?

Capillaries are tiny blood vessels connecting the arteries and veins’ branching systems.

What is stronger, the artery or the vein?

Your arteries are thicker and more flexible so that they can withstand the increased blood pressure that is flowing through them. Your veins are less flexible and thinner. Because of this design, veins can transport more blood than arteries over extended periods.

Dr Sanam shakya

Dr. Sanam Shakya is a licensed MBBS doctor working as a medical officer under the emergency department in Karnali Province Hospital, Surkhet, Nepal.Dr. Shakya's interests are intensive trauma care, emergency medicine, and internal fixation surgeries. He spends a considerable amount of time inpatient''s healthcare.

Related Posts

6 Important Abnormal ECG examples and Causes

6 Important Abnormal ECG examples and Causes

Sphygmomanometer parts and how is it used

Sphygmomanometer parts and how is it used

All You Must Know About the Cardiac Risk Markers

All You Must Know About the Cardiac Risk Markers

The classical signs of cardiac tamponade

The classical signs of cardiac tamponade