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.



A peptide hormone; increases deposition of calcium and phosphate in bone and lowers the level of calcium in the blood.

Calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease (CPPD)

Formerly called pseudogout, calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease (CPPD) is a painful form of arthritis where calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystal deposits settle in a joint, typically the knee, and cause rapid onset of inflammation. CPPD sometimes affects other joints like the ankles or wrists. It is sometimes called pseudogout because it has similar symptoms to gout, which is also caused by crystal deposits, although a different type. Swelling, pain, redness, and heat in the joint may last for days or weeks if not treated. The disease often affects older people, but some people with calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystals in their blood never develop CPPD. Risk factors for CPPD include genetic disorders, prior trauma to the affected joint, or mineral imbalances in the blood, such as too much calcium or iron or too little magnesium. Colchicine, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, and glucocorticoids are used to treat CPPD inflammation, and excess fluid may be drained from swollen joints.

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Canakinumab (Ilaris)

Used to treat cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS), also including familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome and Muckle-Wells syndrome. Causes inflammation, and patients with CAPS may have a fever, headache, skin rash, joint or muscle pain, or unusual tiredness or weakness. Helps prevent inflammation by keeping the interleukin-1 beta from working properly. Also used to treat active systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis in children 2 years of age.

Cardiovascular (heart) disease (CVD)

Disease affecting the heart or blood vessels, including arteriosclerosis, coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, arrhythmia, heart failure, hypertension, orthostatic hypotension, shock, endocarditis, diseases of the aorta and its branches, disorders of the peripheral vascular system, and congenital heart disease.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Characterized by nocturnal hand paresthesia and pain, and sometimes sensory loss and wasting in the median hand distribution. Affects women more than men and is often bilateral. Caused by chronic entrapment of the median nerve at the wrist, within the carpal tunnel.

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Connective tissue characterized by its nonvascularity and form consistency; consists of cells (chondrocytes), an interstitial matrix of fibers (collagen), and a ground substance (proteoglycans).

Cartilage matrix

Intercellular substance of cartilage consisting of fibers and ground substance.

Case-control study

Epidemiologic method that begins by identifying persons with the disease or condition of interest (the cases) and compares their past history of exposure to identified or suspected risk factors with the past history of similar exposures among persons who resemble the cases but do not have the disease or condition of interest (controls).

Cell adhesion molecule

Proteins that hold cells together and hold them to their substrates.

Certolizumab (pegol) (Cimzia)

Certolizumab injection is used for Crohn’s disease in adult patients who have not been helped by other medicines. It is also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Certolizumab works on the immune system to decrease inflammation.

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