Volume 40, Issue 2 (March 2012)
The Assessment of Hand Volume Using a Modified Volumetric Technique
Common methods of volumetric measurement include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), bioelectrical impedance, Perometer, tape measure, and water volumetry. Methods driven with technology, i.e., MRI, provide results with high levels of precision while requiring sophisticated equipment and associated costs. More basic techniques, i.e., tape measure and water volumetry, require minimal equipment and costs but sacrifice on precision of results. Traditional water volumetric measurement is relatively inexpensive and simple to conduct but the precision of measurements can be limited by the quality and readability of the incorporated graduated cylinders. The objective of this study was to establish the reliability of a modified water volumetric technique on measurements of hand volume. Ten subjects with no previous volumetric measurement experience participated in the study. The reliability of this modified volumetric measurement procedure was demonstrated by an intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC (2, 1)] of 0.999. Furthermore, a standard error of measurement (SEM) of 1.68 ml was calculated for this procedure. Based on these results, we believe that the development of this modified volumetric technique provides clinicians with very reliable and precise measures of extremity volumes. Results from our current study continue to support the use of water volumetry as the gold standard in volumetric assessment and as such, the modified technique can be effectively utilized in both the research and clinical settings. We believe the modifications incorporated in our procedures are easily implemented and result in highly reliable measurements.