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a method of passing physiological solutions, blood, blood substitutes, or other fluids through the blood vessels of an organ, a part of the body, or the entire body. Perfusion may be performed on organs completely removed from the body or on organs within the body but isolated from the general vascular system. Widely used in experimental physiology, it permits preservation of the vital activities of organs for a certain period, enabling the study of organ functions and of the effect of hormones, mediators, enzymes, and medicinal substances on physiological systems and the entire body. The method is used in various branches of surgery, including transplantation of organs and tissues. Perfusion of the entire body is used, for example, during heart surgery.
The term “perfusion” also designates the supplying of blood to organs of the body under natural conditions (for example, perfusion of the kidneys, brain, or other organs), which is determined by the state of cardiac activity and local vascular tonus.