Rheumatic Diseases: Disorders of connective tissue, especially the joints and related structures, characterized by inflammation, degeneration, or metabolic derangement.Rheumatic Fever: A febrile disease occurring as a delayed sequela of infections with STREPTOCOCCUS PYOGENES. It is characterized by multiple focal inflammatory lesions of the connective tissue structures, such as the heart, blood vessels, and joints (POLYARTHRITIS) and brain, and by the presence of ASCHOFF BODIES in the myocardium and skin.Rheumatic Heart Disease: Cardiac manifestation of systemic rheumatological conditions, such as RHEUMATIC FEVER. Rheumatic heart disease can involve any part the heart, most often the HEART VALVES and the ENDOCARDIUM.Arthritis, Rheumatoid: A chronic systemic disease, primarily of the joints, marked by inflammatory changes in the synovial membranes and articular structures, widespread fibrinoid degeneration of the collagen fibers in mesenchymal tissues, and by atrophy and rarefaction of bony structures. Etiology is unknown, but autoimmune mechanisms have been implicated.Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic: A chronic, relapsing, inflammatory, and often febrile multisystemic disorder of connective tissue, characterized principally by involvement of the skin, joints, kidneys, and serosal membranes. It is of unknown etiology, but is thought to represent a failure of the regulatory mechanisms of the autoimmune system. The disease is marked by a wide range of system dysfunctions, an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and the formation of LE cells in the blood or bone marrow.Spondylitis, Ankylosing: A chronic inflammatory condition affecting the axial joints, such as the SACROILIAC JOINT and other intervertebral or costovertebral joints. It occurs predominantly in young males and is characterized by pain and stiffness of joints (ANKYLOSIS) with inflammation at tendon insertions.Rheumatology: A subspecialty of internal medicine concerned with the study of inflammatory or degenerative processes and metabolic derangement of connective tissue structures which pertain to a variety of musculoskeletal disorders, such as arthritis.Connective Tissue Diseases: A heterogeneous group of disorders, some hereditary, others acquired, characterized by abnormal structure or function of one or more of the elements of connective tissue, i.e., collagen, elastin, or the mucopolysaccharides.Arthritis, Juvenile: Arthritis of children, with onset before 16 years of age. The terms juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) refer to classification systems for chronic arthritis in children. Only one subtype of juvenile arthritis (polyarticular-onset, rheumatoid factor-positive) clinically resembles adult rheumatoid arthritis and is considered its childhood equivalent.Autoimmune Diseases: Disorders that are characterized by the production of antibodies that react with host tissues or immune effector cells that are autoreactive to endogenous peptides.ArthritisAntirheumatic Agents: Drugs that are used to treat RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS.Rheumatic Nodule: A small round or oval, mostly subcutaneous nodule made up chiefly of a mass of Aschoff bodies and seen in cases of rheumatic fever. It is differentiated from the RHEUMATOID NODULE which appears in rheumatoid arthritis, most frequently over bony prominences. (From Dorland, 27th ed)Autoantibodies: Antibodies that react with self-antigens (AUTOANTIGENS) of the organism that produced them.Scleroderma, Systemic: A chronic multi-system disorder of CONNECTIVE TISSUE. It is characterized by SCLEROSIS in the SKIN, the LUNGS, the HEART, the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT, the KIDNEYS, and the MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM. Other important features include diseased small BLOOD VESSELS and AUTOANTIBODIES. The disorder is named for its most prominent feature (hard skin), and classified into subsets by the extent of skin thickening: LIMITED SCLERODERMA and DIFFUSE SCLERODERMA.Rheumatoid Factor: Antibodies found in adult RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS patients that are directed against GAMMA-CHAIN IMMUNOGLOBULINS.Sjogren's Syndrome: Chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disease in which the salivary and lacrimal glands undergo progressive destruction by lymphocytes and plasma cells resulting in decreased production of saliva and tears. The primary form, often called sicca syndrome, involves both KERATOCONJUNCTIVITIS SICCA and XEROSTOMIA. The secondary form includes, in addition, the presence of a connective tissue disease, usually rheumatoid arthritis.Arthritis, Psoriatic: A type of inflammatory arthritis associated with PSORIASIS, often involving the axial joints and the peripheral terminal interphalangeal joints. It is characterized by the presence of HLA-B27-associated SPONDYLARTHROPATHY, and the absence of rheumatoid factor.Climatotherapy: Relocating a patient to a CLIMATE more suitable for health or for management of a health condition.Spondylitis: Inflammation of the SPINE. This includes both arthritic and non-arthritic conditions.Arthritis, Reactive: An aseptic, inflammatory arthritis developing secondary to a primary extra-articular infection, most typically of the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT or UROGENITAL SYSTEM. The initiating trigger pathogens are usually SHIGELLA; SALMONELLA; YERSINIA; CAMPYLOBACTER; or CHLAMYDIA TRACHOMATIS. Reactive arthritis is strongly associated with HLA-B27 ANTIGEN.Antibodies, Antinuclear: Autoantibodies directed against various nuclear antigens including DNA, RNA, histones, acidic nuclear proteins, or complexes of these molecular elements. Antinuclear antibodies are found in systemic autoimmune diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren's syndrome, scleroderma, polymyositis, and mixed connective tissue disease.Mixed Connective Tissue Disease: A syndrome with overlapping clinical features of systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, polymyositis, and Raynaud's phenomenon. The disease is differentially characterized by high serum titers of antibodies to ribonuclease-sensitive extractable (saline soluble) nuclear antigen and a "speckled" epidermal nuclear staining pattern on direct immunofluorescence.Gout: Hereditary metabolic disorder characterized by recurrent acute arthritis, hyperuricemia and deposition of sodium urate in and around the joints, sometimes with formation of uric acid calculi.Osteoarthritis: A progressive, degenerative joint disease, the most common form of arthritis, especially in older persons. The disease is thought to result not from the aging process but from biochemical changes and biomechanical stresses affecting articular cartilage. In the foreign literature it is often called osteoarthrosis deformans.Microscopic Angioscopy: The noninvasive microscopic examination of the microcirculation, commonly done in the nailbed or conjunctiva. In addition to the capillaries themselves, observations can be made of passing blood cells or intravenously injected substances. This is not the same as endoscopic examination of blood vessels (ANGIOSCOPY).Synovial Fluid: The clear, viscous fluid secreted by the SYNOVIAL MEMBRANE. It contains mucin, albumin, fat, and mineral salts and serves to lubricate joints.PortugalSpondylarthropathies: Heterogeneous group of arthritic diseases sharing clinical and radiologic features. They are associated with the HLA-B27 ANTIGEN and some with a triggering infection. Most involve the axial joints in the SPINE, particularly the SACROILIAC JOINT, but can also involve asymmetric peripheral joints. Subsets include ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS; REACTIVE ARTHRITIS; PSORIATIC ARTHRITIS; and others.Fibromyalgia: A common nonarticular rheumatic syndrome characterized by myalgia and multiple points of focal muscle tenderness to palpation (trigger points). Muscle pain is typically aggravated by inactivity or exposure to cold. This condition is often associated with general symptoms, such as sleep disturbances, fatigue, stiffness, HEADACHES, and occasionally DEPRESSION. There is significant overlap between fibromyalgia and the chronic fatigue syndrome (FATIGUE SYNDROME, CHRONIC). Fibromyalgia may arise as a primary or secondary disease process. It is most frequent in females aged 20 to 50 years. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1494-95)Health Planning Organizations: Organizations involved in all aspects of health planning activities.Vasculitis: Inflammation of any one of the blood vessels, including the ARTERIES; VEINS; and rest of the vasculature system in the body.Polymyalgia Rheumatica: A syndrome in the elderly characterized by proximal joint and muscle pain, high erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and a self-limiting course. Pain is usually accompanied by evidence of an inflammatory reaction. Women are affected twice as commonly as men and Caucasians more frequently than other groups. The condition is frequently associated with GIANT CELL ARTERITIS and some theories pose the possibility that the two diseases arise from a single etiology or even that they are the same entity.HLA-B27 Antigen: A specific HLA-B surface antigen subtype. Members of this subtype contain alpha chains that are encoded by the HLA-B*27 allele family.Chorea: Involuntary, forcible, rapid, jerky movements that may be subtle or become confluent, markedly altering normal patterns of movement. Hypotonia and pendular reflexes are often associated. Conditions which feature recurrent or persistent episodes of chorea as a primary manifestation of disease are referred to as CHOREATIC DISORDERS. Chorea is also a frequent manifestation of BASAL GANGLIA DISEASES.Polymyositis: Diseases characterized by inflammation involving multiple muscles. This may occur as an acute or chronic condition associated with medication toxicity (DRUG TOXICITY); CONNECTIVE TISSUE DISEASES; infections; malignant NEOPLASMS; and other disorders. The term polymyositis is frequently used to refer to a specific clinical entity characterized by subacute or slowly progressing symmetrical weakness primarily affecting the proximal limb and trunk muscles. The illness may occur at any age, but is most frequent in the fourth to sixth decade of life. Weakness of pharyngeal and laryngeal muscles, interstitial lung disease, and inflammation of the myocardium may also occur. Muscle biopsy reveals widespread destruction of segments of muscle fibers and an inflammatory cellular response. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp1404-9)Myositis: Inflammation of a muscle or muscle tissue.Immunoglobulin G: The major immunoglobulin isotype class in normal human serum. There are several isotype subclasses of IgG, for example, IgG1, IgG2A, and IgG2B.Biological Products: Complex pharmaceutical substances, preparations, or matter derived from organisms usually obtained by biological methods or assay.