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.

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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Several groups composed of usually 8–10 kd polypedtide cytokines that are chemokinetic and chemotactic, stimulating leukocyte movement and attraction.


Calcification of cartilage.


Nondividing cartilage cell; occupies a lacuna within the cartilage matrix.

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