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Acronyms in rheumatology

A unified list of acronyms has been drawn up and approved by the editors of the principal journals in the field of rheumatology. It originally appeared in the November 1998 issue of Arthritis and Rheumatism (vol. 41, no. 11, pp. 1901-5) and it is recommended that authors use them to facilitate scientific communication. The list was updated in January 2005, and finally in 2010 (Clin Exp Rheumatol 2010; 28;1). We reproduce the list in full below. You may also download and print a PDF file of this list.

1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 1,25(OH)2D3
25-hydroxyvitamin D3 25(OH)D3
α1-microglobulin α1m
α2-macroglobulin α2M
α2-plasmin inhibitor α2PI
anti-centromere antibodies ACA
anti-cardiolipin antibodies aCL
acute cutaneous lupus erythematosus acLE
anti-citrullinated protein antibodies ACPA
American College of Rheumatology ACR
anti-endothelial cell antibodies AECA
Arthritis Foundation AF
acquired immunodeficiency virus AIDS
Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales AIMS
alkaline phosphatase ALP
anti-mitochondrial antibodies AMA
anti-nuclear antibodies ANA
anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies ANCA
anti-phospholipid antibodies aPL
IgA anti-phospholipid antibodies APL
anti-phospholipid syndrome APS
anti-phosphatidylserine-prothrombin antibodies aPS-PT
anti-prothrombin antibodies aPT
activated partial thromboplastin time aPTT
American Rheumatism Association ARA
Arthritis, Rheumatism and Aging
Medical Information System
adult respiratory distress syndrome ARDS
acute rheumatic fever ARF
ankylosing spondylitis AS
acetylsalicylic acid ASA
anti-smooth muscle antibodies ASMA
azathioprine AZA
Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index BASDI
Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index BASFI
Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Patient Global Score BAS-G
Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Metrology Index BASMI
Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Radiology Index BASRI
British Isles Lupus Assessment Group BILAG
bone mineral content BMC
bone mineral density BMD
body mass index BMI
bone morphogenic protein BMP
bovine serum albumin BSA
Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Score BVAS
cytoplasmic ANCA cANCA
cyclic citrullinated peptide CCP
chronic diffuse cutaneous lupus erythematosus cdcLE
complementary DNA cDNA
collagen-induced arthritis CIA
circulating immune complex CIC
counterimmunoelectrophoresis CIE
carpometacarpal joint CMC joint
cytomegalovirus CMV
central nervous system CNS
central nervous system lupus CNS lupus
cartilage oligomeric matrix protein COMP
calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease CPDD
counts per minute cpm
calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate CPPD
calcinosis, Raynaud's phenomenon, esophageal
dysmotility, sclerodactyly, telangiectasias
chromosomal RNA cRNA
C-reactive protein CRP
chondroitin sulfate ChSu
corticosteroid CS
cyclosporin A CSA
Cooperative Systematic Studies
of the Rheumatic Diseases (group)
computed tomography CT
connective tissue disease CTD
cathepsin G CTG
carpal tunnel syndrome CTS
coxsackievirus B CVB
cyclophosphamide CYC
dilute Russell viper venom time DRVVT
disease activity score DAS
diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis dcSSc
denatured DNA dDNA
D-penicillamine D-Pen
dehydroepiandrosterone DHEA
dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate DHEAS
direct immunofluorescence DIF
distal interphalangeal joint DIP joint
diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis DISH
discoid lupus erythematosus DLE
dermatomyositis DM
disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs DMARD
Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium DMEM
deoxyribonucleic acid DNA
dual-photon absorptiometry DPA
double-stranded DNA dsDNA
dual x-ray absorptiometry DXA
Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen EBNA
Epstein-Barr virus EBV
electrocardiogram ECG
European Consensus Lupus Activity Measure ECLAM
ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid EDTA
eosinophilic fasciitis EF
enzyme immunoassay EIA
enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay ELISA
electron microscopy EM
electromyography EMG
extractable nuclear antigen ENA
ear, nose, throat ENT
erythrocyte sedimentation rate ESR
European Spondylarthropathy Study Group ESSG
endothelin 1 ET-1
European League Against Rheumatism EULAR
fluorescence-activated cell sorting FACS
fluorescence in situ hybridization FISH
fluorescein isothiocyanate FITC
fibromyalgia FM
familial Mediterranean fever FMF
fast protein (or fast performance)
liquid chromatography
Felty's syndrome FS
fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption FTA-ABS
glycosaminoglycan GAG
glomerular basement membrane GBM
giant cell arteritis GCA
gas chromatography-mass spectrometry GC-MS
granulocyte colony-stimulating factor G-CSF
granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor GM-CSF
glomerulonephritis GN
IgG phospholipid units GPL
hyaluronic acid HA
Health Assessment Questionnaire HAQ
heat-aggregated IgG HAGG
hepatitis A virus HAV
hepatitis B surface antigen HBsAg
hepatitis B virus HBV
hydroxychloroquine HCQ
hepatitis C virus HCV
hepatitis delta virus HDV
hepatoma cell line Hep
human epithelial cell line 2 HEp-2
hepatitis E virus HEV
human herpesvirus HHV
histidyl-transfer RNA his-tRNA
human immunodeficiency virus HIV
human leukocyte antigens HLA
heterogeneous nuclear RNA hnRNA
heterogeneous nuclear RNP hnRNP
hypertrophic osteoarthropathy HOA
high pressure (or high performance)
liquid chromatography
human papilloma virus HPV
hormone replacement therapy HRT
heat shock protein HSP
Henoch-Schönlein purpura HScP
hypersensitivity vasculitis HV
herpes simplex virus type 1 HSV
human T cell lymphotrophic virus HTLV
intra-articular IA
inflammatory bowel disease IBD
inclusion body myositis IBM
immune complex IC
ionized calcium iCa
immunodiffusion ID
isoelectric focusing IEF
immunofluorescence IF
interferon IFN
immunoglobulins Ig
indirect immunofluorescence IIF
interleukin IL
International League of Associations
for Rheumatology
interphalangeal joint IP joint
intravenous immunoglobulin IVIG
idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura ITP
juvenile chronic arthritis JCA
juvenile dermatomyositis JDM
juvenile idiopathic arthritis JIA
juvenile reactive arthritis jRA
juvenile SLE jSLE
keratoconjunctivitis sicca KCS
kaolin clotting time KCT
kinetoplast DNA kDNA
La/SSB antigen La/SSB
lupus anticoagulant LA
Lupus Activity Criteria Count LACC
limited cutaneous systemic sclerosis lcSSc
lupus erythematosus cells LE cells
leflunomide LEF
lupus nephritis LN
monoclonal antibody mAb
metacarpophalangeal joint MCP joint
macrophage colony-stimulating factor M-CSF
mixed connective tissue disease MCTD
medical subject headings MeSH
major histocompatibility complex MHC
microRNA miRNA
mycophenolate mofetil MMF
matrix metalloprotease
(or matrix metalloproteinase)
IgM phospholipid units MPL
myeloperoxidase MPO
monoclonal rheumatoid factor mRF
magnetic resonance imaging MRI
messenger RNA mRNA
metatarsophalangeal joint MTP joint
methotrexate MTX
nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide NAD(H)
nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate NADP(H)
native DNA nDNA
normal human serum NHS
National Institute of Arthritis and
Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
natural killer NK
nuclear magnetic resonance NMR
neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus NPSLE
nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug NSAID
osteoarthritis OA
osteocalcin OC
Outcome Measures in Rheumatoid
Arthritis Clinical Trials
polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis PAGE
polyarteritis nodosa PAN
perinuclear ANCA pANCA
phosphate buffered saline PBS
proliferating cell nuclear antigen PCNA
polymerase chain reaction PCR
Paget's disease PD
platelet-derived growth factor PDGF
positron emission tomography PET
prostaglandin PG
proximal intephalangeal joint PIP joint
polymyositis PM
polymyositis/dermatomyositis PM/DM
polymorphonuclear leukocytes PMN
polymyalgia rheumatica PMR
proteinase 3 PR3
Pediatric Rheumatology International Trials Organization PRINTO
psoriatic arthritis PsA
prothrombin time PT
parathyroid hormone PTH
psoralen ultraviolet A PUVA
quantitative computed tomography QCT
rheumatoid arthritis RA
rheumatoid arthritis nuclear antigen RANA
receptor activator of nuclear factor kB RANK
rheumatic disease unit RDU
reactive arthritis ReA
rheumatoid factor RF
radioimmunoassay RIA
radial immunodiffusion RID
ribonucleic acid RNA
ribonucleoprotein RNP
Ro/SSA antigen Ro/SSA
Raynaud's phenomenon RP
ribosomal RNA rRNA
remitting seronegative symmetrical
synovitis with pitting edema
reflex sympathetic dystrophy (syndrome) RSD
respiratory syncytial virus RSV
reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction RT-PCR
slow-acting antirheumatic drugs SAARD
Synovitis, Acne, Pustolosis, Hyperostosis and Osteitis (syndrome) SAPHO
Sclero 70 Scl-70
subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus scLE
small cytoplasmic RNP scRNP
salmon calcitonin SCT
sodium dodecyl sulfate SDS
seronegative enthesopathy and
arthropathy (syndrome)
synovial fluid SF
Spondylitis Functional Index SFI
sex hormone binding globulin SHBG
sacroiliac joint SI joint
Systemic Lupus Activity Measure SLAM
Systemic Lupus Criteria Count SLCC
systemic lupus erythematosus SLE
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Disease Activity Index
Systemic Lupus International
Collaborating Clinics
synovial membrane SM
small nuclear RNP snRNP
spondylarthritis SpA
single-photon-emission computed tomography SPECT
soluble RNA sRNA
Sjögren's syndrome SS
systemic sclerosis SSc
single-stranded DNA ssDNA
sulfasalazine SSZ
simian vacuolating virus 40 SV40
temporal arteritis TA
total body bone mineral density TBBMD
T cell receptor TCR
transforming growth factor β TGF-β
T helper Th
total lymphoid irradiation TLI
temporomandibular joint TM joint
tumor necrosis factor alpha TNF-α
tumor necrosis factor beta TNF-β
topoisomerase I topo I
tissue plasminogen activator tPA
regulatory T cells Treg
transfer RNA tRNA
undifferentiated connective tissue disease UCTD
urokinase plasminogen activator uPA
ultrasound US
undifferentiated spondylarthritis uSpA
Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (test) VDRL
vascular endothelial growth factor VEGF
Wegener's granulomatosis WG
Western Ontario and McMaster Universities
Osteoarthritis Index
left-handed DNA Z-DNA