Carrying toward. A vein is an afferent vessel since it carries blood toward from the heart. An afferent nerve carries impulses toward the central nervous system. The opposite of afferent is efferent.
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Inflowing; conducting toward a center, denoting certain arteries, veins, lymphatics, and nerves. Opposite of efferent. SYN: centripetal (1), esodic. [L. afferens, fr. af-fero, to bring to]

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af·fer·ent 'af-ə-rənt,ənt adj bearing or conducting inward specif conveying impulses toward the central nervous system compare EFFERENT
af·fer·ent·ly adv
afferent n an afferent anatomical part (as a nerve) <the effect on the hypothalamus of \afferents from the stomach>

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1. designating nerves or neurones that convey impulses from sense organs and other receptors to the brain or spinal cord, i.e. any sensory nerve or neurone.
2. designating blood vessels that feed a capillary network in an organ or part.
3. designating lymphatic vessels that enter a lymph node. Compare efferent.

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af·fer·ent (afґər-ənt) [L. ad- to + ferre to carry] 1. conveying toward a center; called also centripetal. 2. something that so conducts; see under fiber and nerve. Cf. corticipetal.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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