Artery vs Vein: Similarities and Differences (A Comparison Table)

difference between artery and vein

Arteries vs Veins
Similarities and Differences between Arteries and Veins

The circulatory system in an organism ensures the transport of oxygen, nutrients, carbon dioxide and hormone throughout the body. The blood circulatory system in an animal is facilitated by the heart (the blood pumping organ) and blood vessels (closed pipelines which carry out the circulation of blood throughout the body). There are three types of blood vessels in our body. They are:

(1).    Arteries
(2).    Veins
(3).    Capillaries

(1). Artery: They are blood vessels which originated from the heart and carry blood away from the heart. Arteries usually carry oxygenated blood except for pulmonary and umbilical arteries that carries deoxygenated blood.

(2). Vein: They are blood vessels which carry blood to the heart from various organs of the body. Veins usually carry deoxygenated blood except for pulmonary and umbilical vein that carries oxygenated blood.

(3). Capillaries: They are minutes blood vessels of one cell layer thickness and they facilitate the exchange of oxygen, carbon dioxide, nutrients and hormones in the blood to individuals cells of different organs. Arteries and veins are interconnected through capillaries and thus the blood circulation forms a closed system in majority of animals.

The current post describes the similarities and differences between Arteries and Veins with a comparison table.

Similarities between Arteries and Veins

Ø  Both are blood vessels.

Ø  Both transport blood.

Ø  Blood transport is unidirectional in both arteries and vein.

Ø  Arteries and veins composed of layers of cells.

Ø  Both arteries and veins composed of three layers of cells namely Tunica externa (external layer), tunica media (middle layer) and tunica interna (internal layer).

Ø  Both arteries and veins are covered by muscular tissues which assist in the contraction or expansion of blood vessels.

Ø  Both undergo vasoconstriction and vasodilation to adjust the blood pressure according to the action of hormones and neurotransmitters.

Ø  Both arteries and veins show anastomosis.

Difference between Arteries and Veins

Sl. No.ArteryVein
1Carry blood away from the heartCarry blood towards the heart
2Carry oxygenated bloodCarry deoxygenated blood
3Pulmonary artery carry deoxygenated bloodPulmonary vein carry oxygenated blood
4Red in colour due to oxygenated bold they carryVeins are blue in colour, since they carry deoxygenated blood
5Usually located deep in the bodyUsually located close to the skin
6Artery is a resistance blood vesselVein is a capacitance blood vessel
7Middle layer of artery (tunica media) is thickTunica media relatively thin in veins
8Tunica media composed of elastic and smooth muscle tissuesTunica media composed of few elastic fibres and it is less muscular
9Wall of artery is elasticWall of vein is not elastic
10Semilunar valves absent (except where the artery leaves the heart)Semilunar valves present at regular intervals to prevent the backflow of blood
11Arteries possess narrow lumenVeins possess wide lumen
12Pressure of blood flowing through the artery is highPressure is low
13Pulse is detectable in the arteryPulse not detectable in the vein
14Blood flow rate is quick and rapidBlood flow rate is slow and steady
15Blood volume is lowMuch higher blood volume than capillaries and arteries
16Carry about 30% of the systemic circulation of blood in humanCarry about 65% of the systemic circulation of blood in human
*the rest 5% is in blood capillaries
17Arteries are emptied up at the time of deathVeins are filled up at the time of death
18Atherosclerosis is the main disease affecting the arteriesDeep vein thrombosis is the main disease affecting the veins

Difference between vein and artery

Cross Section of Vein and Artery (Source: Wikipedia)

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