Why do we do this test?
To assist in the diagnosis of medullary carcinoma of thyroid, in the assessment of response to therapy (during therapy) and in the long term follow up to detect recurrences.
It will also be requested in family screening of patients with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia 2 (MEN 2).
Calcitonin is a peptide hormone produced by C-cells in the thyroid gland. It has a function in regulating calcium levels in the blood.
Calcitonin is elevated in two exceedingly rare conditions.
C cell hyperplasia and medullary carcinoma of thyroid. C cell hyperplasia is benign but sometimes can develop into a cancer.
Medullary carcinoma of thyroid is cancerous and early diagnosis is important.
About 20-25% of medullary carcinoma of thyroid are inherited and occur with MEN 2. MEN 2 is associated with several related disorders including medullary thyroid cancer and pheochromocytomas.
It can also be elevated in other neuroendocrine tumours like VIPoma, Insulinoma and lung cancer.
Elevated levels are also seen in other pathologies like autoimmune thyroid diseases, renal failure, hypercalcaemia, hypergasrinaemia, and acute pulmonary inflammatory conditions.
Specimen Type
Instructions for specimen collection & Patient preparation
Fasting samples are recommended, but not required.
Specimen transportation & Processing
Transport separated serum/plasma in ice (2-8 C). If prolonged storage store
at -20 C in glass or plastic vials.
Specimen storage & stability
Separate serum as soon as possible. Samples are stable for 19 hours at 2-8 C. or 2 hours at room temperature.
Specimen storage duration

Reference Intervals & Target Values
Males < 10.0 pg/mL
Female < 5.0 pg/mL
Critical Limits
Possible Pre-analytical Errors
Gross Haemalysis and lipaemia
Possible Analytical Errors
Insufficient serum/plasma volume, Air bubbles, Fibrin clots.
Available Government Laboratories
Apeksha Hospital
Recommended turnaround time
3 to 7 days

Test Method


1. Endres, D.B., Rude, R.K.; Mineral and bone metabolism. Burtis CA, Ashwood ER. Tietz Text Book of Clinical Chemistry,3rd edition., USA, Elsevier Saunders .,1999, 1423-1425
2. Kaplan, Lawrence A. and Pesce, Amadeo J.;Clinical Chemistry : Theory, Analysis.Correlation,5th edition:MosbyInc., 620

Last Updated : 2020-09-23 02:21:25






College of Chemical Pathologists of Sri Lanka

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