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The vascular system and associated disorders

17 August 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 15


The vascular system, also called the circulatory system, is made up of the vessels that carry blood and lymph fluid through the body. The arteries and veins carry blood all over the body, sending oxygen and nutrients to the body tissues and taking away waste materials. This is a complex system in the body and can be affected by diseases with different pathogenic mechanisms. This article describes the pathophysiology of the main diseases of arteries and the venous system.

The heart is the principal organ that pumps blood around the body, and the vascular system transports the blood throughout the body. Arteries carry blood away from the heart and veins carry blood towards it. Blood flows through arteries and arterioles transporting oxygen, nutrients, and other substances essential for cellular metabolism and homeostatic regulation (Chaudhry and Maio, 2022). Veins and venules carry deoxygenated (oxygen-depleted) blood toward the heart. The exceptions to these are the pulmonary arteries (which carry deoxygenated blood) and the pulmonary veins (which carry oxygenated blood) (Blanchflower and Peate, 2021). Capillaries are tiny blood vessels that form a delicate network in close proximity to most parts of the body tissues and connect arterioles and venules. Their thin walls allow oxygen, nutrients, carbon dioxide and waste products to pass to and from tissue cells (Jarvis, 2018).

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