Diagram of an artery
|Latin||Arteria (plural: arteriae)|
An artery (plural arteries) (from Greek ἀρτηρία (artēria), meaning 'windpipe, artery') is a blood vessel that takes blood away from the heart to all parts of the body (tissues, lungs, etc.). Most arteries carry oxygenated blood; the two exceptions are the pulmonary and the umbilical arteries, which carry deoxygenated blood to the organs that oxygenate it. The effective arterial blood volume is that extracellular fluid which fills the arterial system.
The arteries are part of the circulatory system, which is responsible for the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to all cells, as well as the removal of carbon dioxide and waste products, the maintenance of optimum blood pH, and the circulation of proteins and cells of the immune system.