Calcitonin is produced by the parafollicular or C-cells of the
thyroid gland. Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) is a tumour of the
calcitonin-producing C-cells which occurs in a sporadic and in an
inherited form. As some MTCs are hereditary it is important to
screen all family members for excess calcitonin when a case is
Calcitonin is also used in confirmed MTC to monitor treatment,
assess prognosis and detect recurrence
Request on ICE
Analysed by referral laboratory if specific criteria met.
Screening, diagnosis or monitoring of MTC. In cases of familial
origin, calcitonin can be used as a screening test.
Fasting samples are no longer required
Samples MUST be transported to laboratory immediately
Sent to referral laboratory (Charing Cross Hospital)
Causes for Rejection
Unlabelled or incorrectly labelled sample; not meeting specific
criteria for analysis; delay in sample reaching laboratory.
Visible haemolysis invalidates the results.
Male: 0 - 11.5 ng/L
Female: 0 - 4.6 ng/L
See laboratory report for further information
In early disease basal levels of calcitonin may be normal.
Increased diagnostic sensitivity may be obtained using pentagastrin
Calcitonin may be raised in other malignancies (breast, lung,
pancreas), phaeochromocytoma, renal failure, hyperparathyroidism
and Paget's disease.