AskDefine | Define subcutaneous

Dictionary Definition

subcutaneous adj : relating to or located below the epidermis; "hypodermic needle"; "subcutaneous implant" [syn: hypodermic]

User Contributed Dictionary



From subcutaneus, from sub- + cutis + adjectival suffix -aneus.



  1. Pertaining to the fatty layer under the skin.

Derived terms


Pertaining to the fatty layer under the skin

Extensive Definition

The subcutaneous tissue or subcutis is the layer of tissue directly underlying the cutis. It is mainly composed of adipose tissue. Its physiological function includes insulation and storage of nutrients.


Subcutaneous injections are given by injecting a fluid or a solid pellet into the subcutis. It is used to administer a variety of medical treatments. Subcutaneous injections of fluid are used to administer vaccines and medications. A pellet may be injected to deliver long-lasting doses of medication such as goserelin. Subcutaneous injections provide slow and constant absorption and are one of the parenteral routes of administration.

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