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Definition of HEPARIN
: a mucopolysaccharide sulfuric acid ester that is found especially in the liver and lungs, that prolongs the clotting time of blood, and that is used medically in the form of its sodium salt
Origin of HEPARIN
International Scientific Vocabulary, from Greek hēpar liver
First Known Use: 1918
Medical Definition of HEPARIN
: a glycosaminoglycan sulfuric acid ester that occurs especially in the liver and lungs, that prolongs the clotting time of blood by preventing the formation of fibrin, and that is administered parenterally in the form of its sodium salt in vascular surgery and in the treatment of postoperative thrombosis and embolism—see liquaemin; compare antiprothrombin, antithrombin
Naturally occurring mixture of organic compounds used as a short-term anticoagulant to prevent thrombosis during and after surgery and for initial treatment of various heart, lung, and circulatory disorders in which there is increased risk of blood clotting. Comprising complex carbohydrate molecules called mucopolysaccharides, it normally is present in the human body in liver and lung tissues. It was discovered in 1922 and originally used to prevent clotting in blood taken for laboratory tests.