Difference Between Veins and Capillaries

We must have been made with immense complexity and difficulty by the Divine Being. According to the Bible, God loved us so much that he made us appear to like him. Unlike plants and other basic organisms, our body is complicated due to the numerous parts and functions it possesses. Because of their function and importance in our bodies, our veins and capillaries are some of the most fascinating aspects of our bodies. 

Veins vs Capillaries 

The main difference between Veins and Cappliaries is that Cappilaries allow oxygen, nutrients, and metabolic wastes to easily circulate between the blood and extracellular fluid, whereas veins bring deoxygenated blood to the heart. Systematic circulation is aided by veins, whereas micro-circulation is aided by capillaries. Capillaries are branched whereas the Veins are not branched. 

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Veins are more easily identified because veins which are closer to the surface of the skin or do not have accompanying arteries are much more apparent, veins are easier to spot. Further veins include pulmonary veins, which carry oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart, and systemic veins, which carry deoxygenated blood towards the heart and run from the legs to the neck and arms. 

A capillary is a small blood vessel that is 5 to 10 micrometers in size. The tunica intima, a narrow wall of basic squamous endothelial cells, seems to be the only component of capillaries. They transmit blood here between the arterioles and venules which are the smallest blood arteries in the body. Between such micro-vessels as well as the interstitial fluid which surrounds them, a variety of chemicals are exchanged. 

Comparison Table Between Veins and Capillaries  

Parameters of Comparison Veins  Capillaries  
Definition Veins are just the tubes that drain deoxygenated blood back to the heart as part of the circulatory system. Capillaries are fine-branching blood arteries that connect arterioles and venules to create a network. 
Diameter In comparison, the diameter is larger. The diameter is approximately 8 micrometres. 
Formation The wall is made up of multiple layers of cells. A single cell thickens the wall. 
Branches Veins are not branched. A capillary bed is a heavily branching network. 
Work Deoxygenated blood is drained to the heart. Allow oxygen, nutrients, and metabolic wastes to flow freely between the blood and extracellular fluid. 

What is Veins? 

Those blood channels that convey deoxygenated blood back to the heart are usually known as veins. Deoxygenated blood as well as other metabolic wastes are gathered in the venules during microvasculature. Venules are small blood vessels that thus develop from veins.

The veins are pumped with deoxygenated blood. Blood pressure of the blood is lower than blood pressure in the arteries. Contraction is the primary force that drives blood through veins. Blood cannot flow backward through veins because of valves. Blood capillaries make up the walls of a vein. Since superficial veins are closer to the skin’s surface and do not have accompanying arteries, they are more visible. 

 The tunica adventitia, tunica media, and tunica intima are the 3 sections that make up the vein wall. The tunica adventitia is indeed a layer of connective tissue that forms the strong external covering of the vein. The tunica medium is made of a thin smooth muscle layer and a fine endothelial tunica intima lining.

These tubes convey blood into the body’s main vein, the vena cava. Both the superior vena cava as well as the inferior vena cava send blood into the right atrium of the heart. 

What is Capillaries? 

Capillaries are a network of fine-branching blood arteries that form a network by connecting arterioles and veins. They’re spotted near metabolizing cells in organs and tissues. Just one file of blood vessels may pass through it at a time since capillaries have a size of 5-10 m. Basic squamous epithelium forms the capillary lining. Endothelial cells as well as a basement membrane build the wall as a result.

The primary function of capillaries is to allow chemicals to move between both the blood and the tissue’s extracellular matrix. Arterioles are blood vessels that transport oxygen to the body’s capillaries. The capillaries bed is the architecture in the tissue that is supported by capillaries. Interstitial fluid is the fluid that passes from blood to extracellular fluid via the capillary wall. Oxygen, nutrients, ions, and water make up the interstitial fluid. 

Carbon dioxide and urea, for illustration, move from the extracellular fluid to the circulatory. Microcirculation is the term for this. Continuous, fenestrated, and sinusoidal blood capillaries are indeed the 3 types of blood capillaries found in the human body. A continuous endothelial cell layer lines the capillary lumen in continuous capillaries. Skeletal tissues, skin, gonads, & fingers all have this capillary type.

The intercellular gap allows only water & ions to flow through. The endothelial cells of fenestrated capillaries have small pores with a size of 60-80 nm. The fenestrations allow ions and small proteins to flow through. Endocrine glands, pancreas, stomach, and kidney glomeruli all have fenestrated capillaries. 

Main Differences Between Veins and Capillaries  

  1. Capillaries are fine-branching blood arteries that create a network by connecting arterioles and venules, whereas veins are merely tubes that return deoxygenated blood to the heart as part of the systemic circulation. 
  2. The diameter of veins is larger whereas the diameter of capillaries is approximately 8 micrometres. 
  3. The wall of veins is made up of multiple layers of cells whereas in capillaries thickens of the wall is a single cell. 
  4. Veins are not branched whereas a capillary bed is a heavily branched network. 
  5. Capillaries allow oxygen, nutrition, and toxins from the body to freely pass between the blood and extracellular fluid, whereas veins transport deoxygenated blood back to the heart. 


Capillaries and veins are the 2 types of vessels that make up systemic circulation. Connective tissue, smooth muscles, & simple epithelium are the 3 tissues that make up veins. Veins are made up of 3 types of tissues: connective tissues, smooth fibres, and basic epithelium. Capillaries are single cell thick, while veins are made composed of 3 types of tissues: connective muscle, smooth tissues, and basic epithelium.

Arterioles deliver oxygenated blood and nutrients to capillaries. This same capillary wall transports o2 from the blood to the extracellular fluid. Metabolic toxins are also delivered into the bloodstream at the same time. The venules transport the oxygen-depleted blood to the veins, where it would be eventually transported to the heart. The function of each form of a blood vessel in the systemic circulation is the major differentiation between capillary and veins. 


  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00410688
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3630377/
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