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J Hand Ther. 1996 Oct-Dec;9(4):349-58.

Development and evaluation of a precision forearm and hand volumeter and measuring cylinder.

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School of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Lidcombe, Australia.


Water displacement methods are commonly used to measure upper limb swelling. The purpose of this study was to improve upon currently used volumetric equipment and methods by developing a volumetric method that would be reliable, accurate, and sensitive to changes in forearm and hand volume of less than 1%. The first two phases involved measuring a sample of inert objects (bottles), and the next two phases involved measuring a sample of forearms and hands across a range of water temperatures. Data confirmed that the volumetric method could be used reliably and accurately to measure bottle volumes and was able to detect a change of 10 mls (< 1%). The method also reliably measured forearm and hand volumes using the same anatomic landmark to reference depth of immersion in all subjects. Water temperatures across the range of 20 to 32 degrees Celsius were not found to affect the volume of segments measured.

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