Difference Between Arteries and Veins

Arteries and Veins, both these terms are very commonly used in the medical field. While most people think these terms are the same.

Knowledge of any of these two subjects is critical before understanding any other subject in medical science as both of them are an extremely important part of the human body. Even though both arteries and veins appear to be the same, they are entirely different from each other.

Arteries vs Veins

The main difference between arteries and veins is that arteries are present in the body and these are the vessels that help in carrying blood from the heart of the body to other organs of the body. Veins are the blood vessels that carry blood from different body parts to the heart.

Arteries vs Veins

On one hand, arteries carry blood away from the heart whereas, on the other hand, veins carry blood to the heart.


Comparison Table Between Arteries and Veins (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonArteriesVeins
CirculationArteries circulate blood from the heart to the other body parts.Veins circulate blood from various tissues of the body to the heart.
ThicknessWalls of arteries are thick as compared to veins.Walls of veins are inelastic in nature and thin in thickness.
ValvesValves are not present in arteries.Valves are present in veins.
Blood circulatedThe blood which is carried by arteries away from the heart has oxygen in it.The blood which is carried by the veins to the heart has no oxygen content in it.
PresentArteries are present inside the body.Veins are present near the skin of the human body.
ColorColor of arteries is red.Veins are blue in Color.
PulsePeople can detect the pulse by touching the arteries of the body.Veins don’t help in detecting the pulse of the body
DeathOnce the person gets died, arteries get emptyAfter the death of the person, veins get filled with the blood.


What are Arteries?

Arteries are the blood vessels that are resounding lifeblood from the human heart to other organs of the human body. The blood which is carried by the arteries has oxygen in it.

Hence the muscular walls of the arteries are thick as it carries blood from the heart when the heart pumps it with pressure.

There are two paths which carry blood with the help of arteries:

Systematic: In this path, the blood which is circulated has oxygen content present in it and blood moves from heart to other tissues via this path.

Pulmonary: In this path, the blood which has less oxygen content in it is circulated from the heart to the lungs where it can gain oxygen and release carbon dioxide.

There are two types of arteries in the human body i.e. elastic arteries and muscular arteries.

Elastic arteries: These are the type of arteries which are present very near to the heart. It is present in the region where blood pressure is high.

These arteries are capable of expanding and contracting when the heart pumps the blood with high pressure.

Muscular arteries: These arteries are present in that region of the body where blood pressure is low. These arteries are inelastic in nature.

Different types of arteries are present in different sizes. The artery which is larger than others is called the aorta.


What are Veins?

Veins are the blood vessels which transports the blood from different organs of the body to the heart.

The blood which is circulated by veins has less oxygen content in it and hence veins are less elastic in nature as it is circulating blood to the veins.

Veins contracts frequently to circulate blood to the heart. Veins are present close to the skin of the body.

There are various veins problems that can occur in the human body but most of the problems are due to the blood clot in the veins.

Veins are of 4 types:

Pulmonary veins: These veins carry blood which is rich in oxygen from the lungs to the left part of the heart.

Systemic veins: These veins carry blood which has less oxygen content from different body organs to the heart.

Superficial veins: These are the veins that are present close to the surface of the skin.

Deep veins: These are the veins that are present in the deep muscles of the body.

Veins are present in different sizes in the body. The size of veins varies from 1 millimeter to 1.5 centimeters. The vein which is smallest in size is called venules.


Main Differences Between Arteries and Veins

Although both are fields of biology and related to the body of living beings but still there exist a lot of difference between arteries and veins when it comes to functioning, thickness, and color of vessels.

  1. Arteries help in circulating blood from the heart to body organs whereas veins circulate blood from the tissues to the heart.
  2. Colour of arteries is red whereas veins are blue in color
  3. Arteries carry blood that is rich in oxygen whereas veins carry blood that has less oxygen content.
  4. Arteries are thick in size whereas veins are thin in size as compared to arteries.
  5. Arteries are present deep inside the body whereas veins are present close to the skin of the body.



Both of the vessels i.e. arteries and veins are the components of the body that circulate blood in the body.

Therefore, it is important for people who aspire to become a medical practitioner to understand these vessels in detail and how they are functioning in a coordinated manner.

Both arteries and veins are very close to each other and this is the prime reason that both of these are being taught together in medical institutions.

All in all both arteries and veins are great ways for understanding completely about the blood flow in the body and their functioning. Understanding of both of these concepts makes an individual a better doctor or biologist.



  1. https://www.surgjournal.com/article/0039-6060(73)90307-3/fulltext
  2. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1161/01.RES.66.4.1088
  3. https://www.nature.com/articles/nrg888
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