Looking for rheumatic disease types, treatments, and associated rheumatology definitions? From abatacept to WOMAC, learn about common terms related to arthritis and rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. Looking for information about MACRA? See MACRA terms and definitions.



Appliance for preventing movement of a joint or for the fixation of displaced or moveable parts.

Spondyloarthritis (plural: Spondyloarthropathies)

Family of long-term (chronic) diseases of joints that occur in children (juvenile spondyloarthropathies) and adults. They include ankylosing spondylitis, Reiter’s syndrome (reactive arthritis), psoriatic arthritis, and joint problems linked to inflammatory bowel disease (enteropathic arthritis).

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Large family of chemical substances, comprising many hormones, body constituents, and drugs, each containing the tetracyclic cyclopenta[a] phenanthrene skeleton.

Still’s disease

Form of juvenile chronic arthritis (formerly juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) characterized by high fever and signs of systemic illness that can exist for weeks or months before the onset of arthritis.

Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine)

Sulfonamide (acid-azosulfa compound) with a marked affinity for connective tissues, especially for those rich in elastin, used in ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis.

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Inflammation of a synovial membrane, especially that of a joint; in general, when unqualified, the same as arthritis.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

Inflammatory connective tissue disease with variable features, frequently including fever, weakness and fatigability, joint pains or arthritis resembling rheumatoid arthritis, diffuse erythematous skin lesions on the face, neck, or upper extremities, with liquefaction degeneration of the basal layer and epidermal atrophy, lymphadenopathy, pleurisy or pericarditis, glomerular lesions, anemia, hyperglobulinemia, and a positive lupus erythematosus cell test result, with serum antibodies to nuclear protein and sometimes to double-stranded DNA and other substances.

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Systemic sclerosis (SSc)

Systemic disease characterized by formation of hyalinized and thickened collagenous fibrous tissue, with thickening of the skin and adhesion to underlying tissues (especially of the hands and face), dysphagia due to loss of peristalsis and submucosal fibrosis of the esophagus, dyspnea due to pulmonary fibrosis, myocardial fibrosis, and renal vascular changes resembling those of malignant hypertension.

Systemic vasculitis

Term for diseases that involve inflammation of and damage to blood vessels. May affect different-sized blood vessels, and affect skin and internal organs. Includes diseases such as giant cell arteritis, Churg-Strauss syndrome, Kawasaki disease, Takayasu’s arteritis, and polyarteritis nodosa. Symptoms may include a severe rash called palpable purpura, neuropathy, or signs of lung and kidney problems, such as coughing up blood. Other symptoms may occur, including joint pain, fatigue, fever, weakness, or abdominal pain. Necrotizing vasculitis occurs when inflammation causes thickening and scarring of blood vessel walls, damaging tissues and cutting off blood supply. This can cause visible symptoms like raised skin lesions or fingers turning blue. Glucocorticoids and immunosuppressants may help treat systemic vasculitis.

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