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.



Examination of any part of the body for diagnostic purposes by means of x-rays with the record of the findings usually impressed upon a photographic film.

Randomized controlled trial

Epidemiologic experiment in which subjects in a population are allocated randomly into groups, called “experimental” or “study” and “control” groups to receive or not receive an experimental therapeutic or preventive regimen, procedure, maneuver, or intervention.

Range of motion

Measured beginning and terminal angles, as well as the total degrees of motion, traversed by a joint moved by active muscle contraction or by passive movement.

Raynaud’s phenomenon

Spasm of the digital arteries, with blanching and numbness or pain of the fingers, often precipitated by cold.

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Reactive arthritis

Autoimmune rheumatic disease that is triggered by a bacterial infection, usually either gastrointestinal or sexually transmitted infections. Symptoms include inflammation of large joints, eyes, and the urethra in men or the cervix in women; painful lesions on the feet and heels; and enthesitis, an inflammation where tendons and ligaments insert into the bones, especially near the heels. Formerly called Reiter’s syndrome, people with reactive arthritis often have the HLA-B27 antigen. Usually affects people between 20 and 40, and happens more often in men than in women.

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Agency for the collection of 1) pathologic materials and related information and the organization of these materials for the purpose of study or 2) data on individuals who have had a certain disease to allow follow-up and evaluation of response to therapy.


Restoration, following disease, illness, or injury, of the ability to function in a normal or near-normal manner.


Relating to the kidney.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

Generalized disease, occurring more often in women, that primarily affects connective tissue; arthritis is the dominant clinical manifestation, involving many joints, especially those of the hands and feet, accompanied by thickening of articular soft tissue, with extension of synovial tissue over articular cartilages, which become eroded.

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Rheumatoid factor

Antibodies in the serum of individuals with rheumatoid arthritis.

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