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From 1520s, from Latin perfusus, past participle of perfundo (I pour over, besprinkle) from per- + fundo (I pour) (from nasalised form of PIE root *gheu- ("to pour"));[1] compare diffuse, suffuse.


perfuse (third-person singular simple present perfuses, present participle perfusing, simple past and past participle perfused)

  1. (transitive) To permeate or suffuse something, especially with a liquid or with light.
    • 2001, Neena Washington, Clive Washington, Clive Wilson, Physiological Pharmaceutics: Barriers to Drug Absorption, Taylor & Francis, 2nd Edition, page 30,
      Tissues can be broadly classified as poorly-perfused, adequately perfused and well-perfused on this basis as shown in Table 2.1. Note how organs with a relatively small mass, such as the heart and brain, only require a modest blood flow to perfuse them well.
    • 2010, Andrew J. Rosenfeld, Sharon M. Dial, Clinical Pathology for the Veterinary Team, Wiley (Wiley-Blackwell), page 191,
      As a patient has decreased ability to perfuse tissue, conversion of glucose into carbon dioxide and energy in the cellular level is also decreased.
    • 1989, Klaus Berwing, Martin Schlepper, Peter Kremer, Hassan Bahavar, Clinical trials with a new myocardial contrast agent, Meerbaum, Richard S. Meltzer (editors), Myocardial Contrast Two-dimensional Echocardiography, Kluwer Academic, page 165,
      The right coronary artery system perfused the inferior and infero-septal regions in 89% of the patients, identified with a right dominant system. The anterolateral papillary muscle was perfused from the left coronary system in all cases.
  2. (transitive) To force a fluid to flow over or through something, especially through an organ of the body.
    • 1985, William de Ruhe, et al., 14: Release of Arginine Vasopressin from the Brain, Alejandro Bayón, René Drucker-Colín (editors), In VIVO Perfusion and Release of Neroactive substances: Methods and Strategies, Academic Press, page 240,
      When AVP was perfused into punctate regions in the brain of the sheep or rabbit, the pyrogen-induced fever was suppressed.
    • 2001, Alan B. R. Thomson, Gary Wild, Lipid Absorption and the Unstirred layers, Charles M. Mansbach II, Patrick Tso, Arnis Kuksis (editors), Intestinal Lipid Metabolism, Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers, page 140,
      The change in the ratio of the uptake of xylose and urea could not be explained just by an alteration in UWL resistance or by a change in the laminar flow properties of the perfused fluid.
    • 2009, Domenico Ribatti, History of Research on Tumor Angiogenesis, Springer, page 5,
      To test which solution was optimal for tissue survival, they perfused these solutions through the vasculature of canine thyroid glands, by using an apparatus with a silicone rubber oxygenator (Fig. 1.3).

Related terms[edit]



  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2021) , “perfuse”, in Online Etymology Dictionary





  1. vocative masculine singular of perfūsus


  • perfuse in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • perfuse in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français, Hachette