[ sîr′ō-săng-gwĭnē-əs ]
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Consisting of serum and blood.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.


What does serosanguineous mean?

Serosanguineous describes a substance comprised of both blood cells and serum.

It is commonly misspelled as serosanguinous.

Where did the term serosanguineous come from?

Serosanguineous features the prefix sero–, from the Latin serum (“watery fluid”) and sanguis (“blood”). Serum is a clear liquid made of plasma, easily distinguishable from red blood cells. Serosanguineous fluids are composed of clotted or diluted red blood cells mixed with serum, usually leaving a body from a wound or sampled from one. Unlike normal blood, serosanguinous drainage can be different colors, including milky-white, yellowish, pale pink, or clear.

In medical contexts, sanguinous has been used of such fluids since the 1830s, with serosanguineous recorded in medical journals as far back as the 1860s. While a very technical term largely used by medical professionals, serosanguineous can be easily found on popular medical websites such as Healthline.

How to use the term serosanguineous

Serosanguineous is typically used in medical diagnoses of fluids, drainage, or leakage—or even more technically, exudate—from wounds. It may also be used in other scientific environments, such as labs testing on live subjects.

While it may not be immediately familiar to the general population, patients may encounter serosanguineous when consulting with doctors or nurses about an injury.


This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.