High School Biology : Understanding Circulatory Vessels

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for High School Biology

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Understanding Circulatory Vessels

Which circulatory vessels generally carry deoxygenated blood to the heart?

Possible Answers:

Arteries

Veins

Ducts

Capillaries

Correct answer:

Veins

Explanation:

Arteries are responsible for carrying blood to organs, traveling away from the heart, while veins are responsible for transporting blood back toward the heart. Arteries generally carry oxygenated blood to deliver oxygen to organs, and veins generally carry deoxygenated blood back to the heart for re-oxygenation. The singular exceptions are the pulmonary arteries and pulmonary veins. The pulmonary arteries still travel away from the heart, but carry deoxygenated blood from the right atrium to the lungs. The pulmonary veins still travel toward the heart, but carry oxygenated blood from the lungs to the left atrium.

Example Question #2 : Understanding Circulatory Vessels

Which of the following statements about the circulatory system is false?

Possible Answers:

Blood will always travel from arteries to capillaries, and then into veins

The right ventricle pumps blood to the lungs

Veins always bring deoxygenated blood back to the heart

The inferior vena cava empties blood into the right atrium

Correct answer:

Veins always bring deoxygenated blood back to the heart

Explanation:

A common misconception is that veins always carry deoxygenated blood. Veins always return blood to the heart, but the pulmonary veins are bringing oxygenated blood back to the heart so that it may be pumped to the body's tissues. Deoxygenated blood travels through the right ventricle to the pulmonary arteries. In the lungs it is reoxygenated, then returned to the heart in the pulmonary veins.

Example Question #3 : Understanding Circulatory Vessels

What blood vessel type contains the highest pressure?

Possible Answers:

Artery

Arteriole

Capillary

Vein

Correct answer:

Artery

Explanation:

Blood is able to flow through the blood vessels due to pressure caused by the pumping of the heart. The pressure is the greatest in vessels just leaving the heart (arteries), and decreases as the blood vessels get further away from the heart. Veins have the lowest pressures out of all the blood vessels. 

Example Question #4 : Understanding Circulatory Vessels

Which of the following is true of arteries?

Possible Answers:

Vein walls are thicker than arteries because veins must pump blood up from the lower body

Their thick walls are due entirely to the bulk of elastic fibers in the middle layer

The walls of arteries and veins are about the same thickness in a given tissue

Arteries lack an endothelial layer

Their walls are thick and muscular compared with veins

Correct answer:

Their walls are thick and muscular compared with veins

Explanation:

Arterial walls have three distinct layers: an inner smooth endothelium, a heavy coat of smooth muscle cells and elastic fibers, and a looser outer layer of connective tissue. Arteries are uniformly recognizable as robust, thick-walled structures compared with nearby veins.

Although some veins have muscular fibers in their walls (for example, those in the legs), this layer of cells is thin and often incomplete. Instead of muscle to counteract gravity, veins usually use valves to prevent blood from flowing backward. Arteries, veins, capillaries, and the heart chambers all have an endothelial layer.

Example Question #5 : Understanding Circulatory Vessels

What vascular structure which carries oxygenated blood from the proximal pulmonary artery directly into the aorta of fetal mammals?

Possible Answers:

The ligamentum arteriosum

The foramen ovale

The umbilical vein

The ductus arteriosus

The umbilical arteries

Correct answer:

The ductus arteriosus

Explanation:

In fetal mammals, oxygenated blood returns to the fetus via the umbilical veins. It then drains into the right side of the heart. There would be no use in sending oxygenated blood into non-aerated lungs, so it is diverted through a channel, the ductus arteriosus, into the aorta of the fetus.

At birth, this structure closes rapidly, allowing blood to pass the lungs of the newborn. A residual band of connective tissue, the ligamentum arteriosum, marks the site of the original structure. The foramen ovale is a developmental aperture between the atria, and it usually closes spontaneously as the heart develops.

Example Question #6 : Understanding Circulatory Vessels

Which of the following statements is true about arteries and veins? 

Possible Answers:

Neither arteries nor veins carry blood toward the heart

Arteries carry blood away from the heart; veins carry blood toward the heart

Both arteries and veins carry blood toward the heart

Arteries and veins both carry blood toward the heart and away from the heart, depending on their location

Arteries carry blood toward the heart; veins carry blood away from the heart

Correct answer:

Arteries carry blood away from the heart; veins carry blood toward the heart

Explanation:

The circulatory system of the body is composed of blood vessels. There are three main types of blood vessels: the arteries, the capillaries, and the veins.

Arteries always carry blood away from the heart. Usually the blood is oxygenated; the exceptions are the pulmonary arteries, which carry blood away from the heart to the lungs to become oxygenated. Veins carry deoxygenated blood towards to heart from tissue, with the exception of the pulmonary veins, which carry oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart. Capillaries allow for exchange between blood and tissue.

Example Question #7 : Understanding Circulatory Vessels

Is the blood found in the jugular vein oxygen-rich or oxygen-poor, and why?

Possible Answers:

Oxygen-rich, because it carries blood from the heart to the head and neck.

Oxygen-poor, because it carries blood from the head and neck to the heart

Oxygen-rich, because it carries blood from the head and neck to the heart

Oxygen-poor, because it carries blood from the heart to the head and neck

Correct answer:

Oxygen-poor, because it carries blood from the head and neck to the heart

Explanation:

Begin by remembering that arteries carry blood away from the heart. Veins carry blood from the body back to the heart. Note that the distinction between the blood in arteries and veins does not lie in the oxygen-content. Rather, it lies in the direction of flow. Arteries always take blood away from the heart, whereas veins always take blood back to the heart.

Example Question #8 : Understanding Circulatory Vessels

Which of the following is true of veins and arteries?

Possible Answers:

Arteries carry oxygen-poor blood back to the heart via the pulmonary circuit

Veins carry oxygen-poor blood back to the heart via the pulmonary circuit

Veins carry oxygen-rich blood back to the heart via the pulmonary circuit

Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood back to the heart via the pulmonary circuit

Correct answer:

Veins carry oxygen-rich blood back to the heart via the pulmonary circuit

Explanation:

Arteries carry blood away from the heart. In all but one case, arteries carry oxygen-rich blood. The exception is the pulmonary arteries. They carry oxygen-poor blood away from the heart, to the lungs, to pick up more oxygen. Veins carry blood back to the heart. In all but one case, veins carry oxygen-poor blood. The exception is the pulmonary veins. They carry oxygen-rich blood from the lungs back to the heart.

Example Question #9 : Understanding Circulatory Vessels

Which of the following components of the circulatory system contain valves?

Possible Answers:

Veins

Arteries

Arterioles

Capillaries

All of these

Correct answer:

Veins

Explanation:

Veins are the only circulatory vessels that contain valves. These structures contain valves because much of the pumping pressure that originated in the heart has been reduced by the time blood reaches veins, which return deoxygenated blood to the heart. The reduction of force can cause the blood to pool or move very slowly. Since veins rely mostly on gravity, blood flow force (originating from the heart), and muscular contractions to squeeze blood through them, it makes sense for them to have valves to keep blood from flowing backwards in between muscular contractions.

Example Question #10 : Understanding Circulatory Vessels

Which of the following carries oxygen-poor blood?

Possible Answers:

Femoral artery

Pulmonary arteries

Carotid artery

Pulmonary veins

Aorta

Correct answer:

Pulmonary arteries

Explanation:

The pulmonary arteries are the only arteries that contain oxygen-poor blood because it carries blood into the lungs to be oxygenated. By definition, arteries carry blood away from the heart and veins carry blood to the heart. However, the pulmonary vein is the only vein in the body that carries oxygen-rich blood (from the lungs back to the heart to be pumped into the rest of the body) and the pulmonary artery is the only artery in the body that carries oxygen-poor blood (to the lungs to be oxygenated before being sent to the heart to be pumped into the rest of the body. The carotid artery is in the neck and delivers oxygen-rich blood to head. The femoral artery is in the leg and delivers oxygen-rich blood to the leg. The aorta is the main artery that delivers blood from the left ventricle of the heart to the rest of the body. 

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