1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email

Part #2: Arteries

By

Updated December 12, 2006

Part #2: Arteries

Comparison of Arteries (left) & Veins (right)

Arteries are a type of blood vessel. Blood vessels are the tubes in your body which carry blood from one place to another.

Structure:

Arteries are large, and contain a high percentage of a special type of muscle, called smooth muscle, that can be controlled by hormones and special signals from the nervous system.

Function:

Arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart. They are responsible for carrying oxygen and other important nutrients out to the body. In this sense, arteries can be thought of as the supply train of the body, bringing in the raw materials that your organs need in order to do their jobs.

Except for the pulmonary artery, all arteries carry blood that is rich in oxygen and nutrients. Some arteries you have probably heard of include the

Special Properties:

The thick, strong walls of arteries make them able to resist the high pressures that exist near the heart. All of the major organs in the body have their own special kind of arteries which are uniquely structured to supplying that organ with the supplies it needs. Even the heart has its own special arteries, called the coronary arteries.



Continue Reading: Part Three: Arterioles
  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. High Blood Pressure
  4. The Basics
  5. Components of Circulation
  6. The Circulatory System - Arteries

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.