Arteries range in size the biggest of which is the aorta, to large arteries which divide and subdivide into hundreds of branches, called arterioles, which end as tiny capillaries. The bigger arteries have three different layers:
- An outer coat, hard and elastic.
- Muscular tissue that expands with every heartbeat.
- A smooth and flimsy inner coat.
Arteries belonging to the systemic circulation and can be divided into muscular or elastic depending on the type of tissue in the middle section of the artery. Usually, larger arteries tend to be elastic and smaller ones are muscular. The latter are the one that deliver blood to the arterioles.