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Veins as blood reservoirs

In addition to their primary function of returning blood to the heart, veins may be considered blood reservoirs, since systemic veins contain approximately 64 percent of the blood volume at any given time ( [link] ). Their ability to hold this much blood is due to their high capacitance    , that is, their capacity to distend (expand) readily to store a high volume of blood, even at a low pressure. The large lumens and relatively thin walls of veins make them far more distensible than arteries; thus, they are said to be capacitance vessels    .

Distribution of blood flow

This table describes the distribution of blood flow. 84 percent of blood flow is systemic circulation, of which 64 percent happens in systemic veins (18 percent in large veins, 21 percent in large venous networks such as liver, bone marrow, and integument, and 25 percent in venules and medium-sized veins); 13 percent happens in systemic arteries (2 percent in arterioles, 5 percent in muscular arteries, 4 percent in elastic arteries, and 2 percent in the aorta); and 7 percent happens in systemic capillaries. 9 percent of blood flow is pulmonary circulation, of which 4 percent happens in pulmonary veins, 2 percent happens in pulmonary capillaries, and 3 percent happens in pulmonary arteries. The remaining 7 percent of blood flow is in the heart.

When blood flow needs to be redistributed to other portions of the body, the vasomotor center located in the medulla oblongata sends sympathetic stimulation to the smooth muscles in the walls of the veins, causing constriction—or in this case, venoconstriction. Less dramatic than the vasoconstriction seen in smaller arteries and arterioles, venoconstriction may be likened to a “stiffening” of the vessel wall. This increases pressure on the blood within the veins, speeding its return to the heart. As you will note in [link] , approximately 21 percent of the venous blood is located in venous networks within the liver, bone marrow, and integument. This volume of blood is referred to as venous reserve    . Through venoconstriction, this “reserve” volume of blood can get back to the heart more quickly for redistribution to other parts of the circulation.

Career connection

Vascular surgeons and technicians

Vascular surgery is a specialty in which the physician deals primarily with diseases of the vascular portion of the cardiovascular system. This includes repair and replacement of diseased or damaged vessels, removal of plaque from vessels, minimally invasive procedures including the insertion of venous catheters, and traditional surgery. Following completion of medical school, the physician generally completes a 5-year surgical residency followed by an additional 1 to 2 years of vascular specialty training. In the United States, most vascular surgeons are members of the Society of Vascular Surgery.

Vascular technicians are specialists in imaging technologies that provide information on the health of the vascular system. They may also assist physicians in treating disorders involving the arteries and veins. This profession often overlaps with cardiovascular technology, which would also include treatments involving the heart. Although recognized by the American Medical Association, there are currently no licensing requirements for vascular technicians, and licensing is voluntary. Vascular technicians typically have an Associate’s degree or certificate, involving 18 months to 2 years of training. The United States Bureau of Labor projects this profession to grow by 29 percent from 2010 to 2020.

Visit this site to learn more about vascular surgery.

Visit this site to learn more about vascular technicians.

Chapter review

Blood pumped by the heart flows through a series of vessels known as arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules, and veins before returning to the heart. Arteries transport blood away from the heart and branch into smaller vessels, forming arterioles. Arterioles distribute blood to capillary beds, the sites of exchange with the body tissues. Capillaries lead back to small vessels known as venules that flow into the larger veins and eventually back to the heart.

The arterial system is a relatively high-pressure system, so arteries have thick walls that appear round in cross section. The venous system is a lower-pressure system, containing veins that have larger lumens and thinner walls. They often appear flattened. Arteries, arterioles, venules, and veins are composed of three tunics known as the tunica intima, tunica media, and tunica externa. Capillaries have only a tunica intima layer. The tunica intima is a thin layer composed of a simple squamous epithelium known as endothelium and a small amount of connective tissue. The tunica media is a thicker area composed of variable amounts of smooth muscle and connective tissue. It is the thickest layer in all but the largest arteries. The tunica externa is primarily a layer of connective tissue, although in veins, it also contains some smooth muscle. Blood flow through vessels can be dramatically influenced by vasoconstriction and vasodilation in their walls.

Questions & Answers

body, muscle and regional of structures in the body
Harmony Reply
when the heart beats, blood pumps through the body and making the body function
Harmony
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Hausa Reply
what is ventricular circulation
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In a four-chambered heart, such as that in humans, there are two ventricles that operate in a double circulatory system: the right ventricle pumps blood into the pulmonary circulation to the lungs, and the left ventricle pumps blood into the systemic circulation through the aorta.
yes
anjali
hi
A 23-year-old basketball player mentally rehearses free throw shots while lying in bed. Which option best describesthe area of the brain that is involved in generating a motor image of this action in the absence of actual movement?
Rai
hapothalamus
Prashant
a 67-year-old man has a stroke. one week later, he experiences sudden and uncontrolled flailing, ballistic movements of his limbs. which part of the man’s brain is most likely to have been damaged by the stroke?
Rai
primary motor cortex.. (principal area of cerebrum)
Khawaja
what factors that affect the rate diffusion
Gift Reply
the mass of the solute the temperature of theenvironment the solvent density and the distance traveled
Sulaiman
ok.
Thobok
sorry what are the common meaning of haemostatis
Juma Reply
homeostasis is the steady internal physical and chemical conditions maintaining by living systems
Sulaiman
what are the negatives feedback regulation of ADH
Nansi Reply
what is the the differences between DNA and RNA?
Mustapha
The major differences between the DNA and RNA are contain of double stranded and single stranded which the DNA contain duoble stranded and RNA contain single stranded.
Juma
what are the negatives feedback regulation of ADH before this we confused just verify long term of ADH firstly
Juma
How many genes consist of DNA?
Omaryare
omaryare muhyadiin when you talk about genes, is the material formed in a DNA genes have form like plasma have many genes round there
Juma
aldosterone, renin
Conan
DNA contains the sugar deoxyribone while RNA contains the sugar ribose the only difference between ribose and deoxyribone is that ribose has one more- OH group than deoxyribone which has -H attached to the second carbon in the ring DNA is a double stranded molecules RNA is a single strnded molecul
Sulaiman
yes
Thobok
in human genes very in size from a few hundred DNA based to more than 2million bases
Sulaiman
to know the different structures of the body To know how the body works To know more about our body parts
Deitdre Reply
hi Deitdre you tock about knowledge or you ask the question
Juma
do you need any explanation when reading this book?
janet Reply
Its Good
Hashir
yes
Balogun
Yes
Mariam
yes
Sale
yes
Mustapha
if have many ability just do it!!
Juma
we all waiting for it
Sulaiman
compare and contrast the operation of homeostasis
Dinelle Reply
what is the difference between an ionic, polar covalent and nonpolar covalent bond?
Dinelle
In summary, the bond has different in electronegativity.
Balogun
sorry help me to get the definition of hemostasis or the meaning
Juma
the definition of distal
Dinelle Reply
farthest away from the attachment point.
felix
Distal, is the farthest possition from the origin or midle point
Juma
exercise physiologist how ?
Noor Reply
hi noorr. when you talk about physiologist its a person who study physiology but exercise physiologist is what an exercise doing by physiologist in physiologican
Juma
can I get the questions of human physiology that is present in HSC 2nd semester
Rafiullah Reply
in my lerning the question com like for example ni eassy qustion must understand the the part of the body and how it work or mechanisms of each part learned
Juma
how can I memorize
mukhtaar Reply
which part of the body produces blood
aadil
give me answer
aadil
Red blood cells are formed in the red bone marrow ofbones. Stem cells in the red bone marrow called hemocytoblasts give rise to all of the formed element
mukhtaar
what is hemocytoblasts
Fatima
hemocytoblasts are stem cells in red bone marrow which give rise the all of formed elements
Khawaja
Discuss clonal theory in physiology and its application in measles infection in a 6yr child? Can anyone help me
Isaac Reply
Capillary permeability
what do you want to know about it?
Ramsin
Hello, I want to search about the topic, information and pictures

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Source:  OpenStax, Anatomy & Physiology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 04, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11496/1.8
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