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Definition of Hirudin

Hirudin: An anticlotting agent that prevents blood clots from traveling through the bloodstream to clog up a vessel (thromboembolic complications). Hirudin is the main chemical in the secretion of leeches that allows them to suck out blood freely from the body after they attach to the skin. Desirudin and lepirudin (brand name: Refludan) are genetically engineered recombinant forms of hirudin.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=3762
Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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