Arteries (from Greek ἀρτηρία (artēria), meaning “windpipe, artery”) are blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart. While most arteries carry oxygenated blood, there are two exceptions to this, the pulmonary and the umbilical arteries. The effective arterial blood volume is that extracellular fluid which fills the arterial system.
The circulatory system is vital for sustaining life. Its normal functioning is responsible for the delivery of oxygen andnutrients to all cells, as well as the removal of carbon dioxide and waste products, the maintenance of optimum pH, and the circulation of proteins and cells of the immune system. In developed countries, the two leading causes of death,myocardial infarction (heart attack), and stroke, may each directly result from an arterial system that has been slowly and progressively compromised by years of deterioration.