Transport of Materials through the Walls of Different Blood Vessels
The blood vessels exhibit wide variations in structure from one site in the body to another. The marked differences in the composition, the ultrastructural organization of tissue components and the thickness of the vessel walls presumably reflect differences in the mechanical forces and chemical environment which prevailed during their growth. As the vessels age, differences also appear in their susceptibility to atherosclerosis. Veins are normally spared from the disease, except when they take on the features of arteries following the develoment of an arterio-venous fistula, or when they are used as arterial grafts. The pulmonary arteries also tend to be affected by atherosclerosis only if there is pulmonary hypertension. Even amongst the systemic arteries there is marked variability in susceptibility; vessels smaller than 1mm are rarely affected and the ascending portion of the aorta is normally affected to a lesser extent than the abdominal region.
KeywordsPulmonary Artery Inferior Vena Luminal Surface Transmural Pressure Systemic Artery
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