Jornal de Hematologia e Doenças Tromboembólicas

Jornal de Hematologia e Doenças Tromboembólicas
Acesso livre

ISSN: 2329-8790


One Hundred Years of Heparin

Gargantilla P, Arroyo N and Pintor E

This year is the 100th anniversary of the discovery of heparin, the main anticoagulant drugs for more than 70 years [1], and we would like to remind its discovery. Heparin is a highly-sulfated glycosaminoglycan. It was first discovered by J McLean and WH Howell. McLean was a second-year medical student, at Johns Hopkins University, who was assisting Howell in the investigation of procoagulant preparations. Howell sugggestd to him that he study the nature of the thromboplastic substance to identify the active principle of this extract. In 1916 the young student isolated a fat-soluble anticoagulant in canine liver tissue [2]. It was discovered serendipitously in the course of a problem.