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.

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.

Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)

Polypeptide cytokine, produced by endotoxin-activated macrophages, that has the ability to modulate adipocyte metabolism, lyse tumor cells in vitro, and induce hemorrhagic necrosis of certain transplantable tumors in vivo. Used worldwide to treat inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, juvenile arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis), ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriasis.

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Tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS)

Condition characterized by recurrent episodes of fever. These fevers typically last about 3 weeks, but can last from a few days to a few months. Additional signs and symptoms include abdominal and muscle pain and a spreading skin rash, typically found on the limbs. Affected individuals may also experience puffiness or swelling in the skin around the eyes (periorbital edema), joint pain, and inflammation in various areas of the body, including the eyes, heart muscle, certain joints, throat, or mucous membranes, such as the moist lining of the mouth and digestive tract.

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Lesion through the skin or a mucous membrane resulting from loss of tissue, usually with inflammation.


Location, measurement, or delineation of deep structures by measuring the reflection or transmission of high frequency or ultrasonic waves; computer calculation of the distance to the sound-reflecting or absorbing surface plus the known orientation of the sound beam gives a two-dimensional image.


Inflammation of the uveal tract: iris, ciliary body, and choroid.


Inflammation of a blood vessel (arteritis, phlebitis) or lymphatic vessel (lymphangitis).

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Any disease of the blood vessels.

Visual analog scale (VAS)

A measurement instrument that tries to measure a characteristic or attitude that is believed to range across a continuum of values and cannot easily be directly measured. For example, the amount of pain that a patient feels ranges across a continuum from none to an extreme amount of pain.

Vitamin D

Generic descriptor for all steroids exhibiting the biologic activity of ergocalciferol or cholecalciferol.

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