C-Reactive Protein: A plasma protein that circulates in increased amounts during inflammation and after tissue damage.Blood Sedimentation: Measurement of rate of settling of erythrocytes in anticoagulated blood.Biological Markers: Measurable and quantifiable biological parameters (e.g., specific enzyme concentration, specific hormone concentration, specific gene phenotype distribution in a population, presence of biological substances) which serve as indices for health- and physiology-related assessments, such as disease risk, psychiatric disorders, environmental exposure and its effects, disease diagnosis, metabolic processes, substance abuse, pregnancy, cell line development, epidemiologic studies, etc.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.Acute-Phase Reaction: An early local inflammatory reaction to insult or injury that consists of fever, an increase in inflammatory humoral factors, and an increased synthesis by hepatocytes of a number of proteins or glycoproteins usually found in the plasma.Serum Amyloid A Protein: An ACUTE PHASE REACTION protein present in low concentrations in normal sera, but found at higher concentrations in sera of older persons and in patients with AMYLOIDOSIS. It is the circulating precusor of amyloid A protein, which is found deposited in AA type AMYLOID FIBRILS.Tuberculosis, Miliary: An acute form of TUBERCULOSIS in which minute tubercles are formed in a number of organs of the body due to dissemination of the bacilli through the blood stream.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.Antirheumatic Agents: Drugs that are used to treat RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS.Nephelometry and Turbidimetry: Chemical analysis based on the phenomenon whereby light, passing through a medium with dispersed particles of a different refractive index from that of the medium, is attenuated in intensity by scattering. In turbidimetry, the intensity of light transmitted through the medium, the unscattered light, is measured. In nephelometry, the intensity of the scattered light is measured, usually, but not necessarily, at right angles to the incident light beam.Gold Sodium Thiomalate: A variable mixture of the mono- and disodium salts of gold thiomalic acid used mainly for its anti-inflammatory action in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. It is most effective in active progressive rheumatoid arthritis and of little or no value in the presence of extensive deformities or in the treatment of other forms of arthritis.Polyarteritis Nodosa: A form of necrotizing non-granulomatous inflammation occurring primarily in medium-sized ARTERIES, often with microaneurysms. It is characterized by muscle, joint, and abdominal pain resulting from arterial infarction and scarring in affected organs. Polyarteritis nodosa with lung involvement is called CHURG-STRAUSS SYNDROME.Leukocyte Count: The number of WHITE BLOOD CELLS per unit volume in venous BLOOD. A differential leukocyte count measures the relative numbers of the different types of white cells.Mendelian Randomization Analysis: The use of the GENETIC VARIATION of known functions or phenotypes to correlate the causal effects of those functions or phenotypes with a disease outcome.Bacterial Infections: Infections by bacteria, general or unspecified.Rheumatoid Factor: Antibodies found in adult RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS patients that are directed against GAMMA-CHAIN IMMUNOGLOBULINS.OrosomucoidPolymyalgia 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.Prospective Studies: Observation of a population for a sufficient number of persons over a sufficient number of years to generate incidence or mortality rates subsequent to the selection of the study group.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.Acute Disease: Disease having a short and relatively severe course.Complement C4: A glycoprotein that is important in the activation of CLASSICAL COMPLEMENT PATHWAY. C4 is cleaved by the activated COMPLEMENT C1S into COMPLEMENT C4A and COMPLEMENT C4B.Meningitis, Viral: Viral infections of the leptomeninges and subarachnoid space. TOGAVIRIDAE INFECTIONS; FLAVIVIRIDAE INFECTIONS; RUBELLA; BUNYAVIRIDAE INFECTIONS; ORBIVIRUS infections; PICORNAVIRIDAE INFECTIONS; ORTHOMYXOVIRIDAE INFECTIONS; RHABDOVIRIDAE INFECTIONS; ARENAVIRIDAE INFECTIONS; HERPESVIRIDAE INFECTIONS; ADENOVIRIDAE INFECTIONS; JC VIRUS infections; and RETROVIRIDAE INFECTIONS may cause this form of meningitis. Clinical manifestations include fever, headache, neck pain, vomiting, PHOTOPHOBIA, and signs of meningeal irritation. (From Joynt, Clinical Neurology, 1996, Ch26, pp1-3)Statistics, Nonparametric: A class of statistical methods applicable to a large set of probability distributions used to test for correlation, location, independence, etc. In most nonparametric statistical tests, the original scores or observations are replaced by another variable containing less information. An important class of nonparametric tests employs the ordinal properties of the data. Another class of tests uses information about whether an observation is above or below some fixed value such as the median, and a third class is based on the frequency of the occurrence of runs in the data. (From McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed, p1284; Corsini, Concise Encyclopedia of Psychology, 1987, p764-5)Synovitis: Inflammation of a synovial membrane. It is usually painful, particularly on motion, and is characterized by a fluctuating swelling due to effusion within a synovial sac. (Dorland, 27th ed)Calcitonin: A peptide hormone that lowers calcium concentration in the blood. In humans, it is released by thyroid cells and acts to decrease the formation and absorptive activity of osteoclasts. Its role in regulating plasma calcium is much greater in children and in certain diseases than in normal adults.Severity of Illness Index: Levels within a diagnostic group which are established by various measurement criteria applied to the seriousness of a patient's disorder.Latex Fixation Tests: Passive agglutination tests in which antigen is adsorbed onto latex particles which then clump in the presence of antibody specific for the adsorbed antigen. (From Stedman, 26th ed)Fever: An abnormal elevation of body temperature, usually as a result of a pathologic process.Crohn Disease: A chronic transmural inflammation that may involve any part of the DIGESTIVE TRACT from MOUTH to ANUS, mostly found in the ILEUM, the CECUM, and the COLON. In Crohn disease, the inflammation, extending through the intestinal wall from the MUCOSA to the serosa, is characteristically asymmetric and segmental. Epithelioid GRANULOMAS may be seen in some patients.Infant, Premature, DiseasesSynovial Fluid: The clear, viscous fluid secreted by the SYNOVIAL MEMBRANE. It contains mucin, albumin, fat, and mineral salts and serves to lubricate joints.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.Acute-Phase Proteins: Proteins that are secreted into the blood in increased or decreased quantities by hepatocytes in response to trauma, inflammation, or disease. These proteins can serve as inhibitors or mediators of the inflammatory processes. Certain acute-phase proteins have been used to diagnose and follow the course of diseases or as tumor markers.ArthritisSepsis: Systemic inflammatory response syndrome with a proven or suspected infectious etiology. When sepsis is associated with organ dysfunction distant from the site of infection, it is called severe sepsis. When sepsis is accompanied by HYPOTENSION despite adequate fluid infusion, it is called SEPTIC SHOCK.Interleukin-6: A cytokine that stimulates the growth and differentiation of B-LYMPHOCYTES and is also a growth factor for HYBRIDOMAS and plasmacytomas. It is produced by many different cells including T-LYMPHOCYTES; MONOCYTES; and FIBROBLASTS.Infant, Newborn: An infant during the first month after birth.Pancreatitis: INFLAMMATION of the PANCREAS. Pancreatitis is classified as acute unless there are computed tomographic or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatographic findings of CHRONIC PANCREATITIS (International Symposium on Acute Pancreatitis, Atlanta, 1992). The two most common forms of acute pancreatitis are ALCOHOLIC PANCREATITIS and gallstone pancreatitis.Case-Control Studies: Studies which start with the identification of persons with a disease of interest and a control (comparison, referent) group without the disease. The relationship of an attribute to the disease is examined by comparing diseased and non-diseased persons with regard to the frequency or levels of the attribute in each group.Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay: An immunoassay utilizing an antibody labeled with an enzyme marker such as horseradish peroxidase. While either the enzyme or the antibody is bound to an immunosorbent substrate, they both retain their biologic activity; the change in enzyme activity as a result of the enzyme-antibody-antigen reaction is proportional to the concentration of the antigen and can be measured spectrophotometrically or with the naked eye. Many variations of the method have been developed.Angina, Unstable: Precordial pain at rest, which may precede a MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION.Risk Factors: An aspect of personal behavior or lifestyle, environmental exposure, or inborn or inherited characteristic, which, on the basis of epidemiologic evidence, is known to be associated with a health-related condition considered important to prevent.Prednisolone: A glucocorticoid with the general properties of the corticosteroids. It is the drug of choice for all conditions in which routine systemic corticosteroid therapy is indicated, except adrenal deficiency states.Treatment Outcome: Evaluation undertaken to assess the results or consequences of management and procedures used in combating disease in order to determine the efficacy, effectiveness, safety, and practicability of these interventions in individual cases or series.Prognosis: A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual's condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations.Cross-Sectional Studies: Studies in which the presence or absence of disease or other health-related variables are determined in each member of the study population or in a representative sample at one particular time. This contrasts with LONGITUDINAL STUDIES which are followed over a period of time.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Double-Blind Method: A method of studying a drug or procedure in which both the subjects and investigators are kept unaware of who is actually getting which specific treatment.Inflammation: A pathological process characterized by injury or destruction of tissues caused by a variety of cytologic and chemical reactions. It is usually manifested by typical signs of pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function.False Positive Reactions: Positive test results in subjects who do not possess the attribute for which the test is conducted. The labeling of healthy persons as diseased when screening in the detection of disease. (Last, A Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed)Follow-Up Studies: Studies in which individuals or populations are followed to assess the outcome of exposures, procedures, or effects of a characteristic, e.g., occurrence of disease.Inflammation Mediators: The endogenous compounds that mediate inflammation (AUTACOIDS) and related exogenous compounds including the synthetic prostaglandins (PROSTAGLANDINS, SYNTHETIC).Anti-Inflammatory Agents: Substances that reduce or suppress INFLAMMATION.Cardiovascular Diseases: Pathological conditions involving the CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM including the HEART; the BLOOD VESSELS; or the PERICARDIUM.Predictive Value of Tests: In screening and diagnostic tests, the probability that a person with a positive test is a true positive (i.e., has the disease), is referred to as the predictive value of a positive test; whereas, the predictive value of a negative test is the probability that the person with a negative test does not have the disease. Predictive value is related to the sensitivity and specificity of the test.Immunoglobulin G: The major immunoglobulin isotype class in normal human serum. There are several isotype subclasses of IgG, for example, IgG1, IgG2A, and IgG2B.Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha: Serum glycoprotein produced by activated MACROPHAGES and other mammalian MONONUCLEAR LEUKOCYTES. It has necrotizing activity against tumor cell lines and increases ability to reject tumor transplants. Also known as TNF-alpha, it is only 30% homologous to TNF-beta (LYMPHOTOXIN), but they share TNF RECEPTORS.Chi-Square Distribution: A distribution in which a variable is distributed like the sum of the squares of any given independent random variable, each of which has a normal distribution with mean of zero and variance of one. The chi-square test is a statistical test based on comparison of a test statistic to a chi-square distribution. The oldest of these tests are used to detect whether two or more population distributions differ from one another.Antibodies, Monoclonal: Antibodies produced by a single clone of cells.Coronary Disease: An imbalance between myocardial functional requirements and the capacity of the CORONARY VESSELS to supply sufficient blood flow. It is a form of MYOCARDIAL ISCHEMIA (insufficient blood supply to the heart muscle) caused by a decreased capacity of the coronary vessels.Glucocorticoids: A group of CORTICOSTEROIDS that affect carbohydrate metabolism (GLUCONEOGENESIS, liver glycogen deposition, elevation of BLOOD SUGAR), inhibit ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE secretion, and possess pronounced anti-inflammatory activity. They also play a role in fat and protein metabolism, maintenance of arterial blood pressure, alteration of the connective tissue response to injury, reduction in the number of circulating lymphocytes, and functioning of the central nervous system.Analysis of Variance: A statistical technique that isolates and assesses the contributions of categorical independent variables to variation in the mean of a continuous dependent variable.Autoantibodies: Antibodies that react with self-antigens (AUTOANTIGENS) of the organism that produced them.ROC Curve: A graphic means for assessing the ability of a screening test to discriminate between healthy and diseased persons; may also be used in other studies, e.g., distinguishing stimuli responses as to a faint stimuli or nonstimuli.Lipids: A generic term for fats and lipoids, the alcohol-ether-soluble constituents of protoplasm, which are insoluble in water. They comprise the fats, fatty oils, essential oils, waxes, phospholipids, glycolipids, sulfolipids, aminolipids, chromolipids (lipochromes), and fatty acids. (Grant & Hackh's Chemical Dictionary, 5th ed)Body Mass Index: An indicator of body density as determined by the relationship of BODY WEIGHT to BODY HEIGHT. BMI=weight (kg)/height squared (m2). BMI correlates with body fat (ADIPOSE TISSUE). Their relationship varies with age and gender. For adults, BMI falls into these categories: below 18.5 (underweight); 18.5-24.9 (normal); 25.0-29.9 (overweight); 30.0 and above (obese). (National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)Drug Therapy, Combination: Therapy with two or more separate preparations given for a combined effect.Pilot Projects: Small-scale tests of methods and procedures to be used on a larger scale if the pilot study demonstrates that these methods and procedures can work.Sensitivity and Specificity: Binary classification measures to assess test results. Sensitivity or recall rate is the proportion of true positives. Specificity is the probability of correctly determining the absence of a condition. (From Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed)Cohort Studies: Studies in which subsets of a defined population are identified. These groups may or may not be exposed to factors hypothesized to influence the probability of the occurrence of a particular disease or other outcome. Cohorts are defined populations which, as a whole, are followed in an attempt to determine distinguishing subgroup characteristics.Troponin T: One of the three polypeptide chains that make up the TROPONIN complex. It is a cardiac-specific protein that binds to TROPOMYOSIN. It is released from damaged or injured heart muscle cells (MYOCYTES, CARDIAC). Defects in the gene encoding troponin T result in FAMILIAL HYPERTROPHIC CARDIOMYOPATHY.Disease Progression: The worsening of a disease over time. This concept is most often used for chronic and incurable diseases where the stage of the disease is an important determinant of therapy and prognosis.Molecular Weight: The sum of the weight of all the atoms in a molecule.Retrospective Studies: Studies used to test etiologic hypotheses in which inferences about an exposure to putative causal factors are derived from data relating to characteristics of persons under study or to events or experiences in their past. The essential feature is that some of the persons under study have the disease or outcome of interest and their characteristics are compared with those of unaffected persons.