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Definition of Capillary

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Capillary: A tiny blood vessel that connects an arteriole (the smallest division of an artery) with a venule (the smallest division of a vein). Although tiny, the capillary plays an imortant role in the circulatory system. The walls of capillaries act as semipermeable membranes that permit the exchange of various substances, including fluids and the gases oxygen and carbon dioxide, between the blood stream and the tissues of the body.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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