- As blood flows through the systemic circulation, pressure decreases progressively because of the resistance to blood flow.
- Thus, pressure is highest in the aorta and lowest in the venae cavae.
- The largest decrease in pressure occurs across the arterioles because they are the site of highest resistance.
- Mean pressure is as follows: in the aorta, 100 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg); at the end of the arterioles, 30 mm Hg; and in the vena cava, 4 mm Hg.
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