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Blood Vessels

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Blood Vessels
Blood Vessels

Blood Vessels

National Cancer Institute

What Are Blood Vessels?

Blood vessels are intricate networks of hollow tubes that transport blood throughout the entire body. Blood delivers nutrients to and removes wastes from our cells.

Types of Blood Vessels

  • Arteries
    Arteries are elastic vessels that transport blood away from the heart.

  • Veins
    Veins are elastic vessels that transport blood to the heart.

  • Capillaries
    Capillaries are extremely small vessels located within the tissues of the body that transport blood from the arteries to the veins.

  • Sinusoids
    Sinusoids are extremely small vessels located within the liver, spleen and bone marrow.

Circulation

Blood is circulated through the body via the cardiovascular system. This system is comprised of the heart and the circulatory system. Blood vessels carry blood from the heart to all areas of the body. The blood travels from the heart via arteries to smaller arterioles, then to capillaries or sinusoids, then to venules, to veins, and back to the heart.

Microcirculation deals with the flow of blood from arterioles to capillaries or sinusoids to venules. As the blood moves through the capillaries, substances such as oxygen, carbon dioxide, nutrients and wastes are exchanged between the blood and the fluid that surrounds cells.

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