Artery and vein

All blood vessels are made up of three layers -tunica intima, tunica media and tunica adventitia. The intima consists of the endothelium, basal lamina and subendothelial cushion. The media extends from the internal elastic lamina to the external elastic lamina most especially in arteries. The blood vessels are stained with orcein so that the elastic fibers are stained dark. Examine the configuration of the elastic laminae in the two vessels and some scattered elastic fibers in the media. The arterial media is mainly made up of smooth muscle fibers and is thicker than that of the vein. The adventitia is common to both the artery and vein in this neurovascular bundle picture.

Differential diagnosis: Blood vessels are small luminal organs and can be easily confused with appendix, ureter or small bronchi. Small bronchi have similar features as trachea and appendix has characteristic lymphatic nodules while vas deferens and ureter are highly muscular.

Artery and vein explanatory video

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Creator: Oluwole Ogunranti