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.


Development of new blood vessels.

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS)

Arthritis of the spine, resembling rheumatoid arthritis, that may progress to bony ankyloses with lipping of vertical margins; the disease is more common in the male, often with the rheumatoid factor absent and the HLA antigen present.

Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)

Autoantibodies found in some autoimmune diseases, recognized by their reactivity with cytoplasmic antigens in neutrophils.

Antinuclear antibodies

Antibody showing an affinity for nuclear antigens, including DNA, and found in the serum of a high proportion of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and certain collagen diseases.

Antiphospholipid antibodies

Antibodies directed against phosphorylated polysaccharide esters of fatty acids; includes lupus anticoagulant, VDRL, and anticardiolipin antibodies.

Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome

Tendency for recurrent thrombosis together with recurrent abortion, thrombocytopenia, and neurologic disease, and elevated blood levels of antibodies against certain negatively charged phospholipids (e.g., cardiolipin, phosphatidylserine, and phosphatidylethanolamine).


Fear, apprehension, or dread of impending danger accompanied by restlessness, tension, tachycardia, and dyspnea unattached to a clearly identifiable stimulus.


Programmed cell death; deletion of individual cells by fragmentation into membrane-bound particles, which are phagocytized by other cells.


Hardening and thickening of the walls of the arteries.


Endoscopic examination of the interior of a joint.

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