NIH Clinical Center
Dept. of Lab Medicine | Dept. of Transfusion Medicine | Anatomic Pathology Test Guide > Lab Test
 Lab Test
 Test Description
Panel Name:
Test Name:
Panel Tests:
LIS Test Code:CATN1
Department:Laboratory Medicine
Lab Area:Mayo Medical Labs
TAT:2-3 days
 Specimen Collection


Container:Red/Yellow Rim 4mL SST

Micro. Container:

Collection Instructions:

Delivery Instructions:Send specimen to 2C324 or Tube Station 321
Specimen Type: Blood
Frequency / Restrictions:
 Expected Values/Results

Ranges and Interpretation:

Calcitonin  pg/mL   (SI: ng/L = 1.0 x pg/mL)
Performed at Mayo Medical Labs, Rochester MN
Effective 19Jun02 - present:
      Male:        0 - 15.9
      Female:    0 -  7.9
      Male:        0 - 130
      Female:    0 -  90
For <=16 years reference ranges are not established.

Organisms Reported:

Alert Limits:

 Additional Test Information


In the normal physiological situation, calcitonin is a polypeptide hormone secreted by the parafollicular cells (also referred to as calcitonin cells or C-cells) of the thyroid gland. The main action of calcitonin is the inhibition of bone resorption by regulating the number and activity of osteoclasts. Calcitonin is secreted in direct response to serum hypercalcemia and may prevent large oscillations in serum calcium levels and excessive loss of body calcium. However, in comparison to parathyroid hormone and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, the role of calcitonin in the regulation of serum calcium in humans is minor. Measurements of serum calcitonin levels are, therefore, not useful in the diagnosis of disorders of calcium homeostasis.

Malignant tumors arising from thyroid C-cells (medullary thyroid carcinoma: MTC) usually produce elevated levels of calcitonin. MTC is an uncommon malignant thyroid tumor, comprising <5% of all thyroid malignancies. Approximately 25% of these cases are familial, usually appearing as a component of multiple endocrine neoplasia type II (MENII, Sipple syndrome). MTC may also occur in families without other associated endocrine dysfunction, with similar autosomal dominant transmission as MENII, which is then called familial medullary thyroid carcinoma (FMTC). Mutations in the RET proto-oncogene are associated with MENII and FMTC.

Other neuroectodermal endocrine tumors, particularly islet cell tumors, may also produce calcitonin, but do so much less frequently. Calcitonin elevations also may occur with:

-Cancer of the lung, breast, or pancreas

-Intestinal, gastric, or bronchial carcinoids

-Chronic renal failure, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, or pernicious anemia

-Pregnant females at term



Starting June 13, 2005: Automated Immunochemiluminometric Assay (ICMA – DPC)

Starting June 19, 2002:  Two-site Chemiluminescence Immunoassay.  Automated Immunochemiluminometric Assay (ICMA – Nichols Diagnostics)

Before June 19, 2002:  Radioimmunoassay (RIA) after Cartridge Extraction.


This test is not useful for evaluating calcium metabolic diseases.

Falsely elevated values may occur in serum from patients who have developed human antimouse antibodies or heterophilic antibodies.

Values obtained with different assay methods or kits may be different and cannot be used interchangeably. Test results cannot be interpreted as absolute evidence for the presence or absence of malignant disease.

Archived Ranges:Historical Reference Ranges


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