Difference Between Cardiovascular and Circulatory System

Cardiovascular system is often referred to as circulatory system due to common features shared by both systems. For example, both systems include heart and blood, and the main role of both the system is to transport substances throughout the body via the bloodstream. 

What is Cardiovascular System?

Cardiovascular system, as the name implies, consists of two main components; the heart (which means cardio) and the blood vessels (which means vascular). The heart is the muscular pump that produces contractile forces in order to distribute the blood throughout the body. In addition, the heart connects both pulmonary and systemic circulatory systems. Blood vessels include arteries, veins, arterioles, venules, and tiny capillaries that make up the vessel network in the body. The function of these vessels is to carry blood from the heart to organs and vise-versa. The key roles of the cardiovascular system are to deliver various substances and remove the metabolic wastes from the body.

What is Circulatory System?

Circulatory system mainly includes the heart, blood vessels, blood, lymph and lymph vessels. In humans, the circulatory system is a closed system that consists of the heart, and two circulatory branches, namely, the pulmonary circulation and systemic circulation. The main role is similar to that of the cardiovascular system. The pulmonary system mainly carries blood to the alveoli in the lungs, whereas the systemic system carries the blood to the every other tissue and organ in the body. Both systems are composed of blood vessels including arteries, arterioles, veins, venules and capillaries. The blood acts as the transporting media of the circulatory system. The main three functions done by blood are transportation of gases like oxygen and carbon dioxide, nutrients, metabolic wastes, regulation of body temperature, normal pH, fluid volume and pressure, and protection against infections and blood loss. The lymph and lymph vessels come under the lymphatic system, which sometimes considered as a supplement to the circulatory system. Other than the lymph and lymph vessels, the system also consists of lymph nodes, tonsils, spleen, thymus gland, Peyer’s patches, lacteals, and lymphoid tissue. The lymph and interstitial fluid serve as an intermediate between the blood and tissue. Lymph vessels are responsible for the back transportation of excess tissue fluid into the circulatory system. In addition, lymph nodes produce lymphocytes that are important for defensive actions against pathogens.

What is the difference between Cardiovascular and Circulatory System?

• Cardiovascular system includes mainly the heart and blood vessels, whereas circulatory system includes the blood, blood vessels, heart, lymph and lymph vessels.

• Unlike the cardiovascular system, circulatory system explains more functions.


Further Reading:

  1. Difference Between Circulatory System and Lymphatic System
  2. Difference Between Open Circulatory System and Closed Circulatory System