Arterioles are called resistance vessels because they offer differing resistances as the result of the diameters to the individual vessels. This allows arterioles to direct blood flow to specific tissues. Veins are referred to as capacitance vessels because the majority of the blood volume is contained within veins. As part of the systemic circuit, oxygenated blood is delivered by the left ventricle to the cells and organs of the body, where gas is exchanged in the capillaries.
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