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Transmission electron microscope image of a capillary with a red blood cell within the pancreas. The capillary lining consists of long, thin endothelial cells, connected by tight junctions.
Microvessels are the smallest blood vessels in a body, including those responsible for microcirculation. They make up the microvasculature that distributes blood within tissues. Common examples of microvessels include:
- Arterioles, a small diameter blood vessel that extends and branches out from an artery and leads to capillaries
- Capillaries, the smallest blood vessels
- Metarterioles, a vessel that links arterioles and capillaries
- Venules, a blood vessel that allows deoxygenated blood to return from the capillary beds to the larger blood vessels called veins
- Thoroughfare channel, a venous vessel receiving blood directly from capillary beds. It is a tributary to venules