Figure 141

Distribution of blood (in percentage of total blood) in the different parts of the circulatory system.

in major segments of the circulation. For instance, about 84 per cent of the entire blood volume of the body is in the systemic circulation, and 16 per cent in heart and lungs. Of the 84 per cent in the systemic circulation, 64 per cent is in the veins, 13 per cent in the arteries, and 7 per cent in the systemic arterioles and capillaries. The heart contains 7 per cent of the blood, and the pulmonary vessels, 9 per cent.

Most surprising is the low blood volume in the capillaries. It is here, however, that the most important function of the circulation occurs, diffusion of substances back and forth between the blood and the tissues. This function is discussed in detail in Chapter 16.

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