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6.3: Overview

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  • The vasculature can broadly be divided into blood and lymphatic circulations. The blood circulatory system serves to transport oxygen and nourish tissues, remove carbon dioxide as waste products, regulate temperature, distribute humoral factors and deliver immune cells. While blood vessels move blood away from and towards the heart (arteries and veins, respectively), flow in lymphatics moves only towards the heart eventually reaching the cranial vena cava by way of the thoracic duct. In both the blood and lymphatic circulation, the anatomy directly reflects the functional requirements of any given vessel.