vessel calibre

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  • Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    Hello!
    It is an 'anatomical' question.

    I wonder if it is clear to say vessel calibre when you talk/write about vein/artery thickness.

    Is it ok to use the word calibre? Is calibre only used to talk/write about weapons?

    Thank you.
    "Caliber" or "calibre" refers to several different things, but in the sense of the diameter of a tube, I am only aware of its use in relation to firearms or artillery pieces. I can't recall ever having seen it used in relation to blood vessels.
     
    "Caliber" or "calibre" refers to several different things, but in the sense of the diameter of a tube, I am only aware of its use in relation to firearms or artillery pieces. I can't recall ever having seen it used in relation to blood vessels.
    Thank you Fabulist for your answer. :)
    A blood vessel is a tube which transports blood... then, in theory it could be used. right?
    ps: I meant the diameter of the vessels, not how thick the tissue is.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    What you are asking is a medical question, but better answered by somebody with appropriate training than relying on the speculations of well-meaning, but unprepared native speakers.

    Perhaps we have such here.
     
    What you are asking is a medical question, but better answered by somebody with appropriate training than relying on the speculations of well-meaning, but unprepared native speakers.

    Perhaps we have such here.
    I was wondering if it would sound too strange to say blood vessel calibre for non-expert people...
    However, the best, as sdgraham mentioned, is to get the opinion of a medical expert. :)
     

    Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    I don't think "caliber" is a general synonym for "diameter." If you've actually seen "caliber of veins" in English-language medical literature, then use it. Perhaps medical personnel do use it. But I don't think you can combine a dictionary definition of "caliber" as "interior diameter" and apply it to any tube. There are lots of tubes and tubular structures that I would not apply it to: water pipes, electrical conduits, drinking straws, and many others. As I wrote in my first reply, I am familiar with the use of "caliber" to mean "the interior diameter of the barrel of a firearm or artillery piece" but not with its use in that sense with anything else. "Caliber/calibre" has other senses that don't have anything to do with interior diameter.
     
    ... If you've actually seen "caliber of veins" in English-language medical literature, then use it. Perhaps medical personnel do use it...
    Hello Fabulist,
    I have heard some medical people speak of 'vessel calibre'. However, I've not had the opportunity to ask a native english speaker. That's the reason of my question here.

    So, to conclude: you would not use the word calibre with other 'pipes' different to the "barrel of a firearm or artillery piece", and will not encourage to use it in vessel calibre. Ok?

    Thank you for your answer.

    btw: I should use the word vessel, since it refers to veins and arteries.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Calibre also has the meaning of "type" or "quality", "I have rarely seen a man of that calibre."

    You would never say, "He has .375" calibre femoral artery." or any unit of size for that matter.

    If by "thickness" you mean the thickness of the wall, as opposed to the internal or external diameter, including any adhering fats, plaque, scars, etc that might be present, then a vein/artery might be a good calibre or a poor calibre. i.e. indicating quality.

    I suspect you could use it of "Femoral Arteries, and others of that calibre, withstand considerable pressure." But again this is a reference to quality.
     
    Hello,
    I checked dictionary.com, and calibre has a very general definition:
    1. the diameter of something of circular section, especially that of the inside of a tube: a pipe of three-inch caliber.
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/calibre

    Also in the medical m-w:
    the diameter of a round or cylindrical body; especially : the internal diameter of a hollow cylinder
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/calibre


    So, in theory it would be correct to say vessel calibre.

    PaulQ: I mean the diameter and not the wall thickness. The vessels are identified on images, and that's where thickness make sense (seen as 2D). However, in 3D, thickness is not really clear, and a better word could be calibre (I think...).
     

    George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Do veins and arteries have a circular cross section? They possibly approach that but in practise they do not have that property..... You shouldn't use calibre unless it really is circular....

    GF..

    Appart from all the other considerations..... :)
     

    George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    I think you could say that most vessels have a circular cross section...
    Unfortunately I nearly was a mathemation; among other things, and I very much doubt your contention.... about blood vessels. But with my engineer's hat on I would need to know what marging of error I am allowed to use before on could report circular or not.....

    A nearly circular cross section I might possibly grudgingly accept.. but not circular....

    GF..

    Any body snatchers out there that have investigated just how (non)circular veins and arteries are??
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Any body snatchers out there that have investigated just how (non)circular veins and arteries are??
    I have a Swiss Army penknife; all I need is a volunteer.

    On the question of arteries, they are quite flaccid and elastic things; they are quite happy to collapse when in a cadaver. I should suspect that it is all but impossible to obtain anything like an accurate measurement of their diameter.
     
    I have a Swiss Army penknife; all I need is a volunteer.

    On the question of arteries, they are quite flaccid and elastic things; they are quite happy to collapse when in a cadaver. I should suspect that it is all but impossible to obtain anything like an accurate measurement of their diameter.
    You could approximate the diameter by measuring the perimeter and calculating it back, no? :) (assuming that the vessel is circular).
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Ha! Not really, some vessels are really small and all of them are squishy and slippery. I think the only way might be to extract one, take a sample length, and pressurise it to the Apostolic and Diabolic* pressures! :)



    *(systolic/diastolic)
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    To get back to the original question: the only context in which using "caliber" (that's the AE spelling; "calibre" is BE) is called for is firearms. Even if it can be used in other contexts, it would sound unusual to at least some readers. Since there are perfectly good alternatives to it, such as "diameter," why not just use one?
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    What you are asking is a medical question, but better answered by somebody with appropriate training than relying on the speculations of well-meaning, but unprepared native speakers.

    Perhaps we have such here.
    Indeed

    It is perfectly normal to refer to, for example, small-calibre vessels in medical writing - if you search Pub Med Central using "small calibre vessels" as your search string you will find 4118 hits.

    In general arteries and arterioles are circular in cross section. This should hardly be surprising as their function is to contain blood under pressure and a circular cross-section is the most efficient to do so.

    I don't know why PaulQ thinks they are flaccid; they are not. I have seen plenty of them alive and dead (the ones in the anatomy classes don't count as they were pickled before we got our hands on them). A living artery is a muscular structure and it retains its shape. When freshly dead it retains its shape, but, of course, as decay sets in it goes the way of all flesh. Healthy veins, however, are flaccid and collapse when not filled. It is perfectly reasonable to talk about the calibre of veins, though, as when they are filled they are circular in cross-section.

    Nevertheless, I would not expect anybody to write "a 3 mm calibre vessel". An example of appropriate usage is "The formulas take into account branching patterns and allow all measured vessel calibres in an eye to be summarised as an index representing the mean arteriolar or venular calibre of that eye."

    Heart. 2006 November; 92(11): 1583–1587.
    Published online 2006 July 13. doi: 10.1136/hrt.2006.090522
     

    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    You can use small-calibre blood vessels and large-calibre blood vessels in a medical text, but if you mention the thickness in mm, then it should be "the diameter of the vein is x mm". I have never written the calibre of the aorta is x mm, but quite often the diameter of the aorta is x mm. (I'm a medical secretary).
     
    You can use small-calibre blood vessels and large-calibre blood vessels in a medical text, but if you mention the thickness in mm, then it should be "the diameter of the vein is x mm". I have never written the calibre of the aorta is x mm, but quite often the diameter of the aorta is x mm. (I'm a medical secretary).
    AutumnOwl,
    the idea is to mention that blood vessels of different calibre can be identified. :) Then the idea is clear.
    Although I could also say that blood vessels of different diameter can be identified.

    I think that the two sentences are equivalent. aren't they?

    Thank you
     

    Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    The two sentences may be conceptually equivalent, but I don't think they are interchangeable. When I was a nurse I never heard the term "calibre" in relation to blood vessels; it was always "diameter".
     
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