- An anti-clotting agent that prevents blood clots from traveling through the blood stream to clog up a vessel (thromboembolic complications). Hirudin is the active principle in the secretion of leeches. Desirudin and lepirudin (brand name: Refludan) are genetically engineered recombinant forms of hirudin.
* * *An antithrombin substance extracted from the salivary glands of the leech that has the property of preventing coagulation of the blood. [L. hirudo, leech]
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* * *n.an anticoagulant present in the salivary glands of leech and in certain snake venoms, that prevents blood coagulation by inhibiting the action of the enzyme thrombin.
* * *hi·ru·din (hĭ-rooґdin) [L. hirudo leech] the active principle of the secretion of the buccal glands of leeches, which prevents coagulation of the blood by acting as an antithrombin; hirudin prepared by recombinant technology is a direct thrombin inhibitor that is used as an anticoagulant.
Medical dictionary. 2011.