Skip to Content


Pronunciation: hep'a-rin

Definition: An anticoagulant principle that is a component of various tissues (especially liver and lung) and mast cells in humans and several mammalian species; its principal and active constituent is a glycosaminoglycan composed of d-glucuronic acid and d-glucosamine, both sulfated, in 1,4-a linkage, of molecular weight between 6,000 and 20,000. In conjunction with a serum protein cofactor (the so-called heparin cofactor), heparin acts as an antithrombin and an antiprothrombin. Synthetic preparations are commonly used in therapeutic anticoagulation. It also enhances activity of “clearing factors” (lipoprotein lipases).

Synonym(s): heparinic acid

Disclaimer: This site is designed to offer information for general educational purposes only. The health information furnished on this site and the interactive responses are not intended to be professional advice and are not intended to replace personal consultation with a qualified physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. You must always seek the advice of a professional for questions related to a disease, disease symptoms, and appropriate therapeutic treatments.
© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.