Calcitonin is a 32 amino acid peptide synthesised, stored and secreted by the C-cells of the thyroid.
Measurement of calcitonin is useful in the diagnosis and monitoring of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), a rare tumour, accounting for only 10% of all thyroid carcinomas. MTC can occur as a sporadic tumour or inherited as part of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN 2). C-cell hyperplasia can increase calcitonin concentration and response to calcium infusion can be used to distinguish hyperplasia from MTC.
NB. Calcitonin is only useful as a screening test in patients where there is a known family history of MTC.
Sample requirements and reference range
|| Lithium heparin
|| Separate and freeze plasma. Transport frozen.
|| 1 mL
|| <9 ng/L
|| 14 days
|| Siemens Immulite