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Definition : Instruments designed for the accurate measurement of the diameter or thickness of an object or, less frequently, the distance between two points on a plane. These instruments are typically metallic, compasslike, handheld instruments with two adjustable, frequently curved, hinged legs or jaws; some instruments display the results of measurements on analog (e.g., mechanical scales) or digital (electronic) displays. Metallic and/or rigid plastic calipers are available with an L-shaped frame with a linear scale along its longer arm and a second L-shaped sliding arm with an auxiliary graduated scale to facilitate fine adjustment and to increase the accuracy of measurement (i.e., vernier calipers). Dedicated clinical calipers are intended mainly to measure organ and/or tissue (e.g., bones, eyes, skin) diameters and/or thicknesses and, less frequently, to determine length and distances on graphic recordings (e.g., electrocardiograms).

Entry Terms : "Vernier Calipers"

UMDC code : 10546

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