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The systemic and pulmonary circulations are made up of three basic types of blood vessels: arteries, capillaries, and veins. The definitions of these vessels are related to the direction of blood flow through the vessel with respect to the heart. Arteries convey blood away from the ventricles of the heart and to body tissue. Veins convey blood away from body tissue and to the atria of the heart. Capillaries convey blood from the smallest arteries to the smallest veins.
Almost every generation of arteries and veins have walls composed of three major tissue layers, or tunics.
Generally, an artery and a vein of similar branching generation run together within the same connective tissue sheath, forming a vascular bundle. Within a vascular bundle, the artery can be distinguished from a vein based on several specific characteristics:
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Copyright © 2011 by Stephen Gallik, Ph. D. | Author: Stephen Gallik, Ph. D.