Artery is a blood vessel that transports blood away from the heart to the tissues of the body. Except for the pulmonary and the umbilical arteries, all arteries carry oxygen-rich blood. The pulmonary artery transports deoxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs and umbilical artery transports deoxygenated blood from the fetus to the placenta.
Aorta is the largest and the main artery. It branches into a network of small arteries which in turn form smaller branches called arterioles that extend throughout the body. Arterioles have smooth muscle walls. They regulate blood pressure in response to stretch, oxygen, pH, carbon dioxide, and hormones. They transport blood to the capillaries, the smallest of the blood vessels embedded within tissues of organs. Exchange of nutrients and gases takes place at the capillaries.
Some of the conditions affecting the arteries are arteritis, atheroma, atherosclerosis, stenosis, embolism, peripheral artery disease, coronary artery disease, etc. Tests used to diagnose these diseases are angiography, catheterization, MRA scan, biopsy, etc. Arterial ailments are treated with medications, angioplasty, stenting, catheterization, surgery, etc.