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.


T cell

Cell formed in the bone marrow from which it migrates to the thymic cortex to become an immunologically competent cell.

Takayasu’s arteritis

A rare type of vasculitis, wherein the inflammation primarily damages the aorta and the aorta’s main branches. The disease can lead to blockages or narrowed arteries (stenosis) or abnormally dilated arteries (aneurysms). Can also lead to arm or chest pain and high blood pressure and eventually to heart failure or stroke.

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Temporomandibular joint

Synovial articulation between the head of the mandible and the mandibular fossa and articular tubercle of the temporal bone.


Inflammation or irritation of a tendon — any one of the thick fibrous cords that attaches muscle to bone. The condition causes pain and tenderness just outside a joint.

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Practical branch of medicine concerned with the treatment of disease or disorder.

Tocilizumab (Actemra)

Biologic, immunosuppressant drug that is approved to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in adults in whom disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs did not achieve an adequate response. It is also approved to treat children with polyarticular and systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Tocilizumab is a type of drug called a humanized monoclonal antibody. It suppresses the body’s production of interleukin-6, a cytokine that plays a role in autoimmunity in RA and JIA. It is given as an intravenous infusion at a doctor’s office or by self-injection by the patient at home. Tocilizumab is given once a month. Dose is calculated based on the patient’s body weight. As with other immunosuppressant drugs, tocilizumab may increase the risk of infections.

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Tofacitinib citrate (Xeljanz)

Treatment indicated for the treatment of adult patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response or intolerance to methotrexate. It may be used as monotherapy or in combination with methotrexate or other nonbiologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.

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Total joint replacement

Surgical procedure in which parts of an arthritic or damaged joint are removed and replaced with a metal, plastic, or ceramic device called a prosthesis. The prosthesis is designed to replicate the movement of a normal, healthy joint.

Transcription factors

Proteins that control which genes are turned on or off in the genome. They do so by binding to DNA and other proteins. Once bound to DNA, these proteins can promote or block the enzyme that controls the reading, or “transcription,” of genes, making genes more or less active. Essential for the regulation of genes.

Transforming growth factors (TGFs)

Two polypeptide growth factors: TGF-α stimulates growth of many epidermal and epithelial cells and is obtained from conditioned media of transformed or tumor cells; TGF-β is obtained from kidney and platelets and controls proliferation and differentiation in many cell types.

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