Purpose of the test
Calcitonin is most commonly used in the management of Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma (MTC), but raised concentrations may also be found in other malignancies such as breast, lung, pancreas, as well as phaeochromocytoma, renal failure, hyperparathyroidism and Paget's disease.
In early MTC disease, basal concentrations of calcitonin may be normal. Increased sensitivity may be achieved by use of pentagastrin stimulation. Most patients with sporadic medullary thyroid cancer have high plasma calcitonin concentrations at the time of diagnosis, whilst 30% of patients with familial medullary thyroid cancer or MENII have normal concentrations at the time of diagnosis. These cases may require molecular genetic testing for the RET proto-oncogene.
Following successful surgical removal of medullary carcinoma, plasma calcitonin concentrations gradually decrease into the undetectable range over a period of several weeks.
Persistently elevated concentrations usually indicate incomplete cure. A rise in a previously undetectable or very low postoperative calcitonin concentration is highly suggestive of disease recurrence.
400µL serum from gel sep or plain tube
Fasting samples are recommended, but not required.
Blood should be collected, allowed to clot, and the serum separated from the clot as soon as possible.
Samples should be frozen immediately after centrifugation.
No additives or preservatives are required to maintain integrity of the sample.
Storage and Transport
Serum can be transported on dry ice by courier. A minimum volume of 400µL required in a 2mL pot.
Address specimens to:
Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Bessemer Wing, King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RS
7 working days.
Price available on application - please contact email@example.com. Discounts could be available for significant workloads.
T: 020 3299 4130
T: 020 3299 3726