The Cardiovascular System – The Arteries

By: Alere Staff

We know the heart is the muscle that pumps blood through our bodies, but how does the blood get to our organs and tissue? The answer is our arteries. Our arteries take the blood from our heart and carry it throughout our body.

There are multiple arteries within our body, including in our arms, legs and even our head. All our arteries, except the pulmonary arteries, stem from the aorta. Blood goes through the left and right pulmonary arteries where it then goes through the lungs to become oxygenated. From there it goes back to the heart to get pumped into the aorta.

The aorta is our main artery that starts at the top of our heart and goes all the way down into our abdomen. The first section of the aorta is known as the ascending aorta. It starts at the top of the heart, goes up a little ways and arches downward. The left and right carotid arteries that are located in the neck stem from the ascending aorta. The second section is known as the descending aorta. This section starts at the end of the arch and goes all the way down to the abdomen. The renal arteries stem from the left and right side of descending aorta and connect to the kidneys.

While it is more common for blood clots to form in our veins, they can occur in our arteries as well. These blood clots are rare because it is more difficult for blood clots to form in our arteries. The amount of force with which our blood travels through our arteries is much stronger than the force it travels through our veins.

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  1. Gray, Henry. Anatomy of the Human Body. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1918;, 2000. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  2. 2013. Function of Veins and Arteries in the Body. Retrieved May 20, 2015 from website: