The arteries are the blood vessels that deliver oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the tissues of the body. Each artery is a muscular tube lined by smooth tissue and has three layers: The intima, the inner layer lined by a smooth tissue called endothelium .
The arteries are the blood vessels that deliver oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the tissues of the body. Each artery is a muscular tube lined by smooth tissue and has three layers:
The intima , the inner layer lined by a smooth tissue called endothelium
The media , a layer of muscle that lets arteries handle the high pressures from the heart
The adventitia , connective tissue anchoring arteries to nearby tissues
The largest artery is the aorta, the main high-pressure pipeline connected to the heart's left ventricle. The aorta branches into a network of smaller arteries that extend throughout the body. The arteries' smaller branches are called arterioles and capillaries. The pulmonary arteries carry oxygen-poor blood from the heart to the lungs under low pressure, making these arteries unique.
Conditions of the ArteriesEdit
Atherosclerosis: The buildup of cholesterol (a waxy substance) into what are called plaques in the arteries' walls. Atherosclerosis in the arteries of the heart, brain, or neck can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Vasculitis (arteritis): Inflammation of the arteries, which may involve one or more arteries at the same time. Most vasculitis is caused by an overactive immune system.
Amaurosis fugax : Loss of vision in one eye caused by a temporary loss of blood flow to the retina, the light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye. It usually occurs when a portion of a cholesterol plaque in one of the carotid arteries (the arteries on either side of the neck that supply blood to the brain) breaks off and travels to the retinal artery (the artery that supplies blood and nutrients to the retina.)
Stenosis of the arteries: Narrowing of the arteries, usually caused by atherosclerosis. When stenosis occurs in arteries in the heart, neck, or legs, the limitations in blood flow can cause serious health problems.
Peripheral artery disease: Atherosclerosis that causes narrowing of the arteries in the legs or groin. The limitation in blood flow to the legs may cause pain or poor wound healing.
Arterial thrombosis: A sudden blood clot in one of the arteries, stopping blood flow. Immediate treatment is necessary to restore blood flow in the artery.
Myocardial infarction (heart attack): A sudden blood clot in one of the arteries supplying blood to the heart.
Cerebrovascular accident (stroke): A sudden blood clot in one of the arteries supplying blood to the brain. Strokes may also occur when one of the arteries in the brain bursts, causing bleeding.
Temporal arteritis: Inflammation of the temporal artery in the scalp. Pain in the jaw with chewing and pain over the scalp are common symptoms.
Coronary artery disease: Atherosclerosis with narrowing of the arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle. Coronary artery disease makes a heart attack more likely.
Carotid artery disease: Atherosclerosis with narrowing of one or both of the carotid arteries in the neck. Disease of the carotid arteries makes stroke more likely.