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blood vessel that conveys blood away from the heartheart,
muscular organ that pumps blood to all parts of the body. The rhythmic beating of the heart is a ceaseless activity, lasting from before birth to the end of life. Anatomy and Function

The human heart is a pear-shaped structure about the size of a fist.
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. Except for the pulmonary artery, which carries deoxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs, arteries carry oxygenated blood from the heart to the tissues. The largest arterial trunk is the aortaaorta
, primary artery of the circulatory system in mammals, delivering oxygenated blood to all other arteries except those of the lungs. The human aorta, c.1 in. (2.54 cm) in diameter, originates at the left ventricle of the heart.
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, branches of which divide and subdivide into ever-smaller tubes, or arterioles, until they terminate as minute capillariescapillary
, microscopic blood vessel, smallest unit of the circulatory system. Capillaries form a network of tiny tubes throughout the body, connecting arterioles (smallest arteries) and venules (smallest veins).
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, the latter connecting with the veinsvein,
blood vessel that returns blood to the heart. Except for the pulmonary vein, which carries oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart, veins carry deoxygenated blood. The oxygen-depleted blood passes from the capillaries to the venules (small veins).
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 (see circulatory systemcirculatory system,
group of organs that transport blood and the substances it carries to and from all parts of the body. The circulatory system can be considered as composed of two parts: the systemic circulation, which serves the body as a whole except for the lungs, and the
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). Other important arteries are the subclavian and brachial arteries of the shoulder and arm, the carotid arteries that lead to the head, the coronary arteries that nourish the heart itself, and the iliac and femoral arteries of the abdomen and lower extremities. The walls of the large arteries have three layers: a tough elastic outer coat, a layer of muscular tissue, and a smooth, thin inner coat. Arterial walls expand and contract with each heartbeat, pumping blood throughout the body. The pulsating movement of blood, or pulsepulse,
alternate expansion and contraction of artery walls as heart action varies blood volume within the arteries. Artery walls are elastic. Hence they become distended by increased blood volume during systole, or contraction of the heart.
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, may be felt where the large arteries lie near the body surface.


A vascular tube that carries blood away from the heart.


any of the tubular thick-walled muscular vessels that convey oxygenated blood from the heart to various parts of the body
References in periodicals archive ?
Morphologic characteristics of atherosclerotic middle cerebral arteries on 3T high-resolution MRI.
The anterior cerebral arteries of the two hemispheres are joined together by the anterior communicating artery.
The lumen of the middle (MCA), anterior (ACA) and posterior (PCA) cerebral arteries were assessed to a precision of 0.
Dolichoectasia of the anterior cerebral arteries in an adolescent.
Acute exposure lo ethanol concentrations obtained during binge drinking constricts cerebral arteries in several species, including humans (Liu et al.
As to the cerebral circulation, we have previously demonstrated that phytoestrogens relax cerebral arteries (Torregrosa et al.
To estimate the extent that these patients' circulation was compromised, the researchers generated quantitative phase-contrast magnetic resonance angiography (qMRA) flow maps for their internal and middle cerebral arteries.
Carotid endarterectomy and stenting carry the risk of precipitating a stroke if clots or plaque dislodged by the procedure then block cerebral arteries.
In 1982, Rune Aaslid used a pulsed Doppler transducer to propagate 1 to 2 MHz waves through the adult human skull and for the first time was able to accurately determine the velocity of blood flow through specific cerebral arteries encircling the base of the brain.
In older individuals, exercise is associated with an increase in the number of large-diameter vessels in the cerebral region of the brain and with an increase in blood flow in the three major cerebral arteries, researchers announced at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.
Cerebral arteries have been shown to possess a poorly developed external elastic lamina and adventitia, thin media and defects in the media termed Forbus raphes (Forbus, 1930; Finlay & Ganhan, 1994; Laadzinki et al.
The lateral perforating branches of the anterior and middle cerebral arteries.

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