The metric system is a modern alternative system of measurement used throughout much of the world, as well as in the United States (US). It is commonly used in laboratories.
The metric system uses a series of prefixes, including deci-, centi-, milli-, micro-, and others, and joins them with one of the 3 base units of measurement, the meter (length), the liter (volume), or the gram (mass or weight). These prefixes are added to indicate larger or smaller measures of the base unit.
Base units most frequently used in the histology laboratory are the liter and the gram. Commonly used prefixes (with their symbols and equivalents) in the histology laboratory include:
Base unit = liter
|Prefix + Base Unit||Symbol||Value||Power of 10|
|Deciliter|| dL || 0.1 L|| 10-1|
|Centiliter || cL|| 0.01 L|| 10-2|
|Milliliter|| mL||0.001 L || 10-3|
|Microliter|| µL|| 0.000001 L|| 10-6|
Base unit = gram
|Prefix + Base Unit||Symbol ||Value||Power of 10|
| Decigram||dg||0.1 g ||10-1|
| Centigram||cg||0.01 g ||10-2|
| Milligram||mg||0.001 g ||10-3|
| Microgram||μg||0.000001 g ||10-6|