Difference between Artery and Vein

Key difference: The primary difference between an artery and a vein is that arteries are blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart, while veins are blood vessels that carry blood toward the heart.

Artery and VeinArtery and Vein are two different types of blood vessels that help carry blood in the body. Both are part of the circulatory system, which is responsible the blood circulation in the body. The circulatory system is one of the most important systems within the body, without it there would be no blood circulation, the body will not be able to get oxygen and nutrients to different parts of the body, or get waste products and carbon dioxide back from the different parts of the body for expulsion.

The circulatory system is made up of the heart, the arteries, veins and other blood vessels, as well as the blood. The arteries and veins are primarily responsible for circulating and transporting nutrients, such as amino acids and electrolytes, as well as oxygen, carbon dioxide, hormones, and blood cells to and from the cells in the body. This provides nourishment to the cells and allows them to fight diseases, stabilize temperature and pH, and maintain homeostasis. However, the arteries and veins serve slightly different purposes.

The primary difference between an artery and a vein is that arteries are blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart, while veins are blood vessels that carry blood toward the heart. Think of them as one way streets, the arteries lead from the heart to the cells, whereas the veins lead from the cells back to the heart.

Most arteries carry oxygenated blood, i.e. blood which contains oxygen and other necessary nutrients from the heart to other parts, except the pulmonary and the umbilical arteries which carry deoxygenated blood. The pulmonary artery carries deoxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs, whereas the umbilical artery supplies deoxygenated blood from the fetus to the placenta.

In comparison, most veins carry deoxygenated blood from the tissues back to the heart, except the pulmonary and umbilical veins. The pulmonary vein carries oxygenated blood to the heart, while the umbilical vein carries oxygenated blood from the placenta into the growing fetus.

Additionally, a visual difference between them is the fact that arteries appear to be red due to oxygenated blood that they are carrying, whereas veins often appear to be blue due to the way the deoxygenated blood refracts light. Arteries are also likely to be locate deeper within the body, while the veins are often locate closer to the surface of the skin.

Artery and VeinThe arteries often have a thick, elastic muscle layer that can handle high pressure of the blood that flows through the arteries. It is also because of this that arteries tend to have thick walls. Veins, on the other hand, tend to have a thin, elastic muscle layer with semilunar valves that prevent the blood from flowing in the opposite direction.

Both Arteries and Veins are joined in places via capillaries which is where the blood is absorbed by the cells then then transfers from the artery to the vein in order to travel back to the heart.

Comparison between Artery and Vein:

 

Artery

Vein

Type

Blood vessel

Blood vessel

Part of

Circulatory system

Circulatory system

Flow

Carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body

Carries blood from the rest of the body back to the heart

Type of blood

Mostly carries oxygenated blood

Mostly carries deoxygenated blood

Color

Appear red due to oxygenated blood

Appear blue due to deoxygenated blood

Anatomy

Thick, elastic muscle layer that can handle high pressure of the blood flowing through the arteries.

Thin, elastic muscle layer with semilunar valves that prevent the blood from flowing in the opposite direction.

Location

Deeper in the body

Closer to the surface of the skin

Valves

Aren't present (except for semi-lunar valves)

Are present, especially in limbs

Walls

More rigid

Collapsible walls

Reference: Wikipedia (Circulatory System, Artery, and Vein), Diffen
Image Courtesy: leavingbio.net, studyread.com

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