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Cardiovascular system

Learning objectives

After completing this study unit you will be able to:

  1. Identify the main subdivisions of the cardiovascular system.
  2. Understand the anatomical difference between arteries and veins.
  3. Learn the main functions of the parts of the cardiovascular system.

Watch videos

The cardiovascular system is composed of the heart, blood vessels, and blood that runs through them. The principal function of the heart is to pump the blood through the system of blood vessels (vascular system). The vascular system is divided into veins and arteries, with the former carrying the blood towards the heart and the latter carrying the blood from the heart to the tissues. The blood transports gases, nutrients, electrolytes, wastes, and hormones maintaining homeostasis in the body. The vascular system is also divided into two circuits:

  • Pulmonary circuit: Carries the blood between the heart and lungs
  • Systemic circuit: Carries the blood between the heart and the periphery

This video tutorial will provide you with an overview of the anatomy and function of the cardiovascular system.

The arteries carry blood from the heart to the different body parts. This video will help you learn the main arteries of the human body.

And the following video will introduce you to the veins of the human body.

To improve your understanding of cardiovascular system terminology, take a closer look at some commonly used roots, prefixes and suffixes related to the cardiovascular system in the video below.

Take a quiz

Now that you have watched the videos about the cardiovascular system, solidify your knowledge by taking one of our quizzes.

To adjust your focus and choose the topics you’ll get quizzed on, try out our customizable quiz.

Browse atlas

Revise everything that you have learned by analyzing each structure of the cardiovascular system through our atlas gallery.


Key points about cardiovascular system
Vascular system
Artery: A vessel that carries blood away from the heart to the capillary beds of organs and tissues
Vein: A vessel that carries blood from the capillaries towards the heart
Pulmonary circulation
A system of arteries and veins that carries deoxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs and vice versa; the flow of oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart
Systemic circulation
A system of arteries and veins that conveys oxygenated blood from the heart to peripheral tissues, and vice versa; deoxygenated blood from the periphery to the heart
Coronary circulation A subsection of the systemic system that provides arterial supply and venous drainage of the heart

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