Difference Between Cardiovascular and Circulatory System

Main Difference – Cardiovascular vs Circulatory System

Cardiovascular system and circulatory system are very similar terms, which describe different forms of blood and different passages of blood in the body. The main difference between cardiovascular system and circulatory system is that cardiovascular system consists of the heart and the blood vessels through which blood flows whereas circulatory system consists of all of the routes through which different forms of circulating fluids in the body flow. The two types of circulating fluids in the body are blood and lymph. Therefore, the circulatory system comprises the heart, blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, lymph nodes, and glands. Blood and lymph are also components of a circulatory system.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Cardiovascular System
      – Definition, Characteristics, Components
2. What is Circulatory System
      – Definition, Characteristics, Components
3. What are the Similarities Between Cardiovascular and Circulatory System
      – Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Cardiovascular and Circulatory System
      – Comparison Of Key Differences

Key Terms: Blood, Blood Vessels, Cardiovascular System, Circulatory System, Glands, Heart, Lymph, Lymphatic Vessels

Difference Between Cardiovascular and Circulatory System - Comparison Summary

What is Cardiovascular System

The cardiovascular system is the passage of blood in the body. It is composed of the heart, blood vessels, and blood. The heart is a muscular organ which pumps blood to the main artery, the aorta. This blood is rich in oxygen and nutrients. It flows through arteries, which are branched out from the aorta to each of the organs in the body. The arteries further divide into arterioles, and at the tissues, they form a network of tiny blood vessels called capillary beds. The capillary beds are the places where the exchange of substance occurs between the blood and the extracellular fluid. Oxygen and nutrients move to the extracellular fluid while metabolic wastes such as carbon dioxide and urea move into the blood. The oxygen depleted blood is drained to the veins through the venules. The veins drain blood to large veins called vena cava. The superior and inferior vena cava ultimately return the blood to the heart.

Difference Between Cardiovascular and Circulatory System

Figure 1: Cardiovascular System

The main function of the cardiovascular system is to provide oxygen and nutrients to the metabolizing cells in the body while removing metabolic wastes. Oxygen, carbon dioxide, nutrients, and other substances are carried by the blood as dissolved molecules. Hemoglobin is the protein that transports oxygen throughout the body. The cardiovascular system is shown in figure 1

What is Circulatory System

The circulatory system is the passage through which both blood and lymph move. It is composed of the heart, blood vessels, blood, lymphatic vessels, glands, and lymph. That means the circulatory system consists of both lymphatic system and cardiovascular system. The lymphatic system functions closely with the cardiovascular system to maintain the homeostasis and the fluid volumes in the body.

Main Difference -  Cardiovascular vs  Circulatory System

Figure 2: Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system also plays a role in the defense of the body from pathogens. The interstitial fluid, which is filtered from the blood capillaries, is taken into the lymphatic vessels and filtered again to produce the lymph. While filtering, the microorganisms and cell debris are removed at the lymph nodes. The lymph is returned to the cardiovascular system. The formation of the lymphatic vessels is shown in figure 2

Similarities Between Cardiovascular and Circulatory System

  • Cardiovascular and circulatory system are involved in circulating fluids in the body.
  • Both cardiovascular and circulatory system are closed systems consisting of vessels.
  • The major driving force of the cardiovascular and circulatory system is the heart.

Difference Between Cardiovascular and Circulatory System

Definition

Cardiovascular System: Cardiovascular system is the organ system through which the blood circulates. It is composed of the heart and blood vessels.

Circulatory System: Circulatory system is the system by which blood and lymph circulate in the body. It is composed of the heart, blood vessels, blood, lymphatic vessels, glands, and lymph.

Anatomic/Physiologic

Cardiovascular System: Cardiovascular system is an anatomic term.

Circulatory System: Circulatory system is a physiologic term.

Vessels

Cardiovascular System: Cardiovascular system consists of blood vessels.

Circulatory System: Circulatory system consists of both blood vessels and the lymphatic vessels.

Fluids

Cardiovascular System: The cardiovascular system consists of blood.

Circulatory System: The circulatory system consists of blood and lymph.

Open/Closed System

Cardiovascular System: Cardiovascular system is a closed system.

Circulatory System: The lymphatic system of the circulatory system is an open system.

Function

Cardiovascular System: The main function of the cardiovascular system is to provide oxygen and nutrients to the body cells while removing the metabolic wastes. 

Circulatory System: The circulatory system has a defensive role as well.

Conclusion

Cardiovascular system and circulatory system are the two fluid circulating systems in the body. The cardiovascular system comprises the heart, blood vessels, and blood. The cardiovascular system and the lymphatic system form the circulatory system. The cardiovascular system only circulates blood. In contrast, the circulatory system flows both blood and the lymph. Thus, the main difference between cardiovascular and circulatory system is the types of fluids circulated by each system.

Reference:

1. “Anatomy of the Cardiovascular System.” Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center, Available here. Accessed 30 Aug. 2017.
2. Zimmermann, Kim Ann. “Lymphatic System: Facts, Functions & Diseases.” LiveScience, Purch, 11 Mar. 2016, Available here. Accessed 30 Aug. 2017.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Circulatory System en” By LadyofHats, Mariana Ruiz Villarreal (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “2202 Lymphatic Capillaries” By OpenStax College – Anatomy & Physiology, Connexions Web site. Available here, Jun 19, 2013. (CC BY 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things

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