Structure and function of blood vessels

Blood vessels are the bodies blood transportation network. There are different types of blood vessels and they all differ in size, structure and function.

Blood vessels Structure Function
  • Thick muscular walls.
  • Found deep beneath the skin surface. 
  • Subdivide into smaller arteries called arterioles.
  • Withstand high blood pressure
  • Generally carry oxygenated blood (except for the pulmonary artery).
  • Take blood away from the heart.
  • Have thin vascular walls
  • Subjected to low blood pressure.
  • Have valves.
  • Found close to the skin surface. 
  • Generally carry deoxygenated blood (except for the pulmonary vein).
  • Deliver blood to the heart.
  • The smallest of the blood vessels.
  • Have very thin walls (one cell thick). 
  • Allow diffusion of gases, known as gaseous exchange.

Can you now remember which is which?

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