20 Big Difference between Arteries and Veins

What is the difference between arteries and veins?

Blood circulatory system ensures animals get oxygen, nutrients, and hormones as well as eliminate carbon dioxide.

The heart and blood vessels are responsible for the blood circulatory system. Some of the common blood vessels involved in the transportation of blood are arteries, veins, and capillaries.

These three blood vessels tend to be quite different from each other as far as structural adaption and function are concerned.

The lesson provides the core difference between arteries and veins. Take the time to read through and get a deeper understanding.

Difference between Arteries and Veins

What Are Arteries?

Arteries are blood vessels that originate from the heart and they are responsible for carrying blood away from the heart.

These blood vessels are known for transporting oxygenated blood except the pulmonary artery and umbilical artery which carry deoxygenated blood.

The arteries have a muscular tube that consists of three layers such as the intima, the media, and the adventitia. The blood is normally transported under high pressure.

Some of the common types of arteries are elastic arteries, muscular arteries, and arterioles. The structural adaption and function are what makes them stand apart.

What Are Veins?

Veins are blood vessels that are responsible for carrying blood to the heart from various parts of the body.

These blood vessels are known for transporting deoxygenated blood except the pulmonary and umbilical vein which carry oxygenated blood.

Veins have three layers such as the Intima, Tunica Media, and Tunica Adventitia. The structural design and functions of these layers tend to be quite different.

Some of the common types of veins in the body are deep veins, superficial veins, pulmonary veins, and systemic veins.

Comparison Chart: Arteries vs Veins 

Basic Terms Arteries Veins
Blood CirculationCarry blood away from the heart to the rest parts of the body.Carry blood from various parts of the body to the heart.
Type of BloodCarry oxygenated blood except for the pulmonary and umbilical artery.Carry deoxygenated blood except for pulmonary and umbilical veins.
Structural AdaptationHave thick elastic muscular walls.Have thin non-elastic less muscular walls.
LocationOccur deeper in the bodyOccur closer to the surface of the skin.
Structure of LumenHas narrow lumenHas a wider lumen
Blood PressureFlow under high pressureFlow under low pressure
Blood ColourReddishBluish
Types of Blood VesselsPulmonary and Systematic ArteriesSuperficial veins, deep veins, pulmonary veins, and systemic veins.
DiseasesAtherosclerosis, Angina Pectoris, Artherogenesis- myocardial ischemia.Deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins.
Muscle ContractionAbsentPresent
PulseDetectable.No detectable.
TunicaExterna tunica is less strong and less developed.Externa tunica is stronger and more developed.
Blood volumeLowHigh
MovementSporty movement of bloodSluggish movement of blood
Time of DeathArteries empty up at the time of death.Veins get filled up at the time of death.
Injury to the Blood VesselSquirting bloodPooling of blood
Side effectTend to collapse when blood flow stopsRemain open when the blood flow stops since they have a thicker muscular layer.
WallThick-walled that is more elasticThin-walled that is less elastic.

Core Differences Between Arteris and Veins In Point Form 

  1. The main role of arteries is to transport oxygenated blood except for pulmonary artery while veins transport deoxygenated blood except for pulmonary veins.
  2. The oxygenated blood carried by arteries is reddish in color while deoxygenated blood carried by veins is bluish.
  3. Arteries tend to occur deep into the body while veins are located closer to the skin surface of the body.
  4. The lumen in arteries is quite narrower to generate more pressure while veins have a wider lumen which enhances low pressure.
  5. The total amount of blood transported by arteries is about 30% while that of the veins is about 65%. The rest 5% is transported by capillaries.
  6. Blood flow in the arteries is under high pressure while that of the veins is under low pressure.
  7. Pulmonary and systemic artery are types of arteries while superficial veins, deep veins, pulmonary veins and systemic veins are types of veins.
  8. Common diseases affecting arteries are Atherosclerosis, and Myocardial ischemia while veins are deep vein thrombosis.

Similarities between Arteries and Veins

  1. Both are blood vessels
  2. Both carry blood
  3. Blood circulation is unidirectional in both
  4. Both consist of a layer of cells
  5. Both have three layers
  6. Both are covered by muscular tissues
  7. Both experiences vasoconstriction and vasodilation
  8. Both show anastomosis

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Comparison Video


Arteries and veins are vital to blood vessels as far as the circulatory system is a concern. They help to transport blood to the body.

However, they tend to have some slight differences in function and structural adaptions. In case of any disease, try to consult professional doctors for examination and diagnosis.

I hope the structural difference between arteries and veins as well as the similarities between arteries and veins highlighted in the lesson is enough for your revision. 

More Sources and References

Arteris and Veins Diagram. Healthline

Structures of Arteries and Veins. Britannica


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