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.


B cells

Beta cell of the pancreas or of the anterior lobe of hypophysis.

Behçet’s syndrome (disease)

Syndrome characterized by simultaneously or successively occurring recurrent attacks of genital and oral ulceration and uveitis or iridocyclitis with hypopyon, often with arthritis; a phase of a generalized disorder, occurring more often in men than women, with variable manifestations, including dermatitis, erythema nodosum, thrombophlebitis, and cerebral involvement.

Biologic response modifier

Agent that modifies host responses to neoplasms by enhancing immune systems or constituting impaired immune mechanisms.


Medicine that is man made through genetic engineering techniques and closely related to a protein that occurs naturally in the body.

Blood vessel inflammation

Inflammation of blood vessels in any part of the body, including arteries, veins and capillaries. Also known as vasculitis. May occur in autoimmune diseases when the immune system attacks healthy tissues by mistake. Signs include pain, redness, swelling, heat sensation, and loss of function in the affected area. Can cut off the blood supply to organs, causing damage. It can also lead to blood vessels bursting, known as an aneurysm.

Body mass index (BMI)

Anthropometric measure of body mass, defined as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. A method of determining caloric nutritional status.

Bone mineral density (BMD)

Quantitative measurement of the mineral content of bone, used as an indicator of the structural strength of the bone and as a screen for osteoporosis.

Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs)

Family of intracellular glycoproteins that induce new bone formation. Also influence bone remodeling, fracture healing, bone graft, integration, and heterotopic calcification.

Bone necrosis

Also known as osteonecrosis, avascular necrosis, and avascular osteonecrosis. Occurs when the blood supply to bones is cut off temporarily or permanently. May occur due to conditions that interrupt blood flow to bone, such as long-term glucocorticoid use or alcoholism. May also be associated with lupus, gout, osteoarthritis, vasculitis, and osteoporosis. Bone may weaken and break down, and the lack of blood supply may make it hard for the bone to grow back and repair damage. Pain when putting pressure on a bone or joint may be a symptom of bone necrosis.

Bone resorption

Removal of osseous tissue.

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