heparin(redirected from heparinic acid)
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, any of several substances that inhibit blood clot formation (see blood clotting). Some anticoagulants, such as the coumarin derivatives bishydroxycoumarin (Dicumarol) and warfarin (Coumadin) inhibit synthesis of prothrombin, a clot-forming substance, and other
..... Click the link for more information. produced by cells in many animals. A polysaccharide, heparin is found in the human body and occurs in greatest concentration in the tissues surrounding the capillaries of the lungs and the liver. The substance, extracted from animal tissues, is used clinically to delay blood clottingblood clotting,
process by which the blood coagulates to form solid masses, or clots. In minor injuries, small oval bodies called platelets, or thrombocytes, tend to collect and form plugs in blood vessel openings.
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An acid mucopolysaccharide acting as an antithrombin, antithromboplastin, and antiplatelet factor to prolong the clotting time of whole blood; occurs in a variety of tissues, most abundantly in liver.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.