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Calcitonin

Calcitonin

Interpretive Guide

Calcitonin

Clinical Use

Diagnose and monitor medullary thyroid carcinoma

Clinical Background

Calcitonin is a 32-amino acid polypeptide produced by parafollicular or C cells in the thyroid. Secretion of calcitonin is stimulated by calcium. Calcitonin decreases osteoclastic bone resorption, but the physiological role in man is uncertain.

Calcitonin measurement is indicated for the diagnosis and follow-up of patients with medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), the majority of whom produce the hormone. Settings in which the test is appropriate include 1) thyroid nodule in patients with symptoms potentially attributable to hypercalcitoninemia, 2) screening of individuals in families with known or suspected MTC or the multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome types IIa or IIb, and 3) follow-up of patients with known MTC. Screening family members with normal basal calcitonin levels should include additional calcitonin measurements after calcium stimulation.

Method

Immunochemiluminometric assay (ICMA)

Analytical sensitivity: 2 pg/mL

Interpretative Information

 

Medullary carcinoma of the thyroid (1/3 have normal basal levels and require provocative test to

 

reveal abnormal levels)

 

 

Lung, breast, pancreatic cancer (some patients)

 

 

Pancreatitis

 

 

Thyroiditis

 

 

Renal failure

 

 

Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (gastrin oversecretion)

 

 

Pernicious anemia

 

 

Pregnancy (term)

 

 

Newborn infants

 

 

 

 

Thyroid agenesis
 

 Content reviewed 06/2015

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