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Tunica externa (vessels)

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Tunica externa (vessels)

Tunica externa (vessels)
Section of a medium-sized artery.
Transverse section through a small artery and vein of the mucous membrane of the epiglottis of a child. (Tunica adventitia is at 'a')
Latin Tunica externa vasorum,
tunica adventitia vasorum
Gray's subject #133 499

The tunica externa (New Latin "outer coat"), also known as the tunica adventitia (or just adventitia), is the outermost tunica (layer) of a blood vessel, surrounding the tunica media. It is mainly composed of collagen and is supported by external elastic lamina. The collagen serves to anchor the blood vessel to nearby organs, giving it stability.

The tunicae of blood vessels are 3 layers: an inner, middle, and outer layer that are called, respectively, the tunica intima, the tunica media, and the tunica externa (or tunica adventitia).


A common pathological disorder concerning the tunica externa is scurvy, also known as vitamin C deficiency. Scurvy occurs because vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen, and without it, the faulty collagen cannot maintain the vein walls and rupture, leading to a multitude of problems.

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See also

External links

  • Circulatory/vessels/vessels7/vessels4 - "Bird, vessels (LM, High)"
  • eMedicine Dictionary
  • Image at

This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.

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