Blood test

High calcitonin level in the blood

Blood test
High calcitonin level in the blood
Last update: 10/12/2021

What is a high calcitonin level in a blood test called?

  • Calcitonin high

What is the normal level of calcitonin in the blood?

If you need to know which are the calcitonin reference ranges or you require more information about the role of calcitonin in the blood, you can visit normal calcitonin in a blood test

What does a high calcitonin mean?

If your doctor has asked this test is because you may have a family history of medullary carcinoma of the thyroid, a type of thyroid cancer. Because this type of cancer is often inherited, the calcitonin test may be used to screen family members at risk. A high calcitonin level in the blood may suggest the activation of this type of tumor.

However, there are many causes for an increase of calcitonin in the blood. Some types of cancer, such as lung, breast, kidney, liver or pancreatic cancer may increase the calcitonin level in the blood. There are also benign conditions like kidney failure, Paget's disease or pernicious anemia that may increase the blood calcitonin level.

  • Severe calcitonin increase (> 5 pg/ml in adult females and > 8.5 pg/ml in adult males):

    Calcitonin level in the blood is very high and it may be due to different types of cancer (mainly medullary carcinoma of the thyroid) and also due to benign conditions (kidney failure, pernicious anemia, etc.).

    Your doctor may ask additional test for a better diagnosis, for example, with a provocative test using calcium or pentagastrin or by demanding a genetic test.

    In case the test was performed because you already suffer a medullary carcinoma of the thyroid, the test is useful to monitor the treatment. If after the treatment there is a decrease in the calcitonin level, it is a sign of good prognosis. On the contrary, if levels are high after the treatment the prognosis will be negative.

Which factors can raise the calcitonin in a blood test?

There are some health circumstances or drugs than can raise your calcitonin level in the blood:

  • Alcohol
  • Pregnancy
  • Calcium intake
  • Breastfeeding
  • Drugs
    • Beta adrenergic agonists
    • Oral Contraceptives
      • Ethinylestradiol
    • Catecholamine
      • Epinephrine
    • Cholecystokinin
    • Glucagon
    • Pentagastrin

Which diseases can raise your calcitonin in a blood test?

The most common diseases why the calcitonin may be higher than normal are:

What can I do to lower the calcitonin in a blood test?

The best way to lower the calcitonin is to treat the underlying condition that causes it. It is usually due to a cancer.

Where can I find more information about calcitonin in a blood test?

You can visit our pages about:

Which values are considered a high calcitonin in a blood test?

The following values are considered to be above the normal range:

IMPORTANT: These levels are expressed in pg/ml. They are an example of a healthy woman of about 40 years old with no known disease, not taking any medication and not pregnant. The ranges can be different depending on the laboratory or on your personal circumstances.

Severe calcitonin increase
5.1 pg/ml5.2 pg/ml5.3 pg/ml5.4 pg/ml5.5 pg/ml5.6 pg/ml5.7 pg/ml5.8 pg/ml
5.9 pg/ml6 pg/ml6.1 pg/ml6.2 pg/ml6.3 pg/ml6.4 pg/ml6.5 pg/ml6.6 pg/ml
6.7 pg/ml6.8 pg/ml6.9 pg/ml7 pg/ml7.1 pg/ml7.2 pg/ml7.3 pg/ml7.4 pg/ml
7.5 pg/ml7.6 pg/ml7.7 pg/ml7.8 pg/ml7.9 pg/ml8 pg/ml8.1 pg/ml8.2 pg/ml
8.3 pg/ml8.4 pg/ml8.5 pg/ml8.6 pg/ml8.7 pg/ml8.8 pg/ml8.9 pg/ml9 pg/ml
9.1 pg/ml9.2 pg/ml9.3 pg/ml9.4 pg/ml9.5 pg/ml9.6 pg/ml9.7 pg/ml9.8 pg/ml
9.9 pg/ml10 pg/ml10.1 pg/ml10.2 pg/ml10.3 pg/ml10.4 pg/ml10.5 pg/ml10.6 pg/ml
10.7 pg/ml10.8 pg/ml10.9 pg/ml11 pg/ml11.1 pg/ml11.2 pg/ml11.3 pg/ml11.4 pg/ml
11.5 pg/ml11.6 pg/ml11.7 pg/ml11.8 pg/ml11.9 pg/ml12 pg/ml12.1 pg/ml12.2 pg/ml
12.3 pg/ml12.4 pg/ml12.5 pg/ml12.6 pg/ml12.7 pg/ml12.8 pg/ml12.9 pg/ml13 pg/ml
13.1 pg/ml13.2 pg/ml13.3 pg/ml13.4 pg/ml13.5 pg/ml13.6 pg/ml13.7 pg/ml13.8 pg/ml
13.9 pg/ml14 pg/ml14.1 pg/ml14.2 pg/ml14.3 pg/ml14.4 pg/ml14.5 pg/ml14.6 pg/ml
14.7 pg/ml14.8 pg/ml14.9 pg/ml15 pg/ml15.1 pg/ml15.2 pg/ml15.3 pg/ml15.4 pg/ml
15.5 pg/ml15.6 pg/ml15.7 pg/ml15.8 pg/ml15.9 pg/ml16 pg/ml16.1 pg/ml16.2 pg/ml
16.3 pg/ml16.4 pg/ml16.5 pg/ml16.6 pg/ml16.7 pg/ml16.8 pg/ml16.9 pg/ml17 pg/ml
17.1 pg/ml17.2 pg/ml17.3 pg/ml17.4 pg/ml17.5 pg/ml17.6 pg/ml17.7 pg/ml17.8 pg/ml
17.9 pg/ml18 pg/ml18.1 pg/ml18.2 pg/ml18.3 pg/ml18.4 pg/ml18.5 pg/ml18.6 pg/ml
18.7 pg/ml18.8 pg/ml18.9 pg/ml19 pg/ml19.1 pg/ml19.2 pg/ml19.3 pg/ml19.4 pg/ml
19.5 pg/ml19.6 pg/ml19.7 pg/ml19.8 pg/ml19.9 pg/ml20 pg/ml20.1 pg/ml20.2 pg/ml
20.3 pg/ml20.4 pg/ml20.5 pg/ml20.6 pg/ml20.7 pg/ml20.8 pg/ml20.9 pg/ml21 pg/ml
21.1 pg/ml21.2 pg/ml21.3 pg/ml21.4 pg/ml21.5 pg/ml21.6 pg/ml21.7 pg/ml21.8 pg/ml
21.9 pg/ml22 pg/ml22.1 pg/ml22.2 pg/ml22.3 pg/ml22.4 pg/ml22.5 pg/ml22.6 pg/ml
22.7 pg/ml22.8 pg/ml22.9 pg/ml23 pg/ml23.1 pg/ml23.2 pg/ml23.3 pg/ml23.4 pg/ml
23.5 pg/ml23.6 pg/ml23.7 pg/ml23.8 pg/ml23.9 pg/ml24 pg/ml24.1 pg/ml24.2 pg/ml
24.3 pg/ml24.4 pg/ml24.5 pg/ml24.6 pg/ml24.7 pg/ml24.8 pg/ml24.9 pg/ml25 pg/ml
25.1 pg/ml25.2 pg/ml25.3 pg/ml25.4 pg/ml25.5 pg/ml25.6 pg/ml25.7 pg/ml25.8 pg/ml
25.9 pg/ml26 pg/ml26.1 pg/ml26.2 pg/ml26.3 pg/ml26.4 pg/ml26.5 pg/ml26.6 pg/ml
26.7 pg/ml26.8 pg/ml26.9 pg/ml27 pg/ml27.1 pg/ml27.2 pg/ml27.3 pg/ml27.4 pg/ml
27.5 pg/ml27.6 pg/ml27.7 pg/ml27.8 pg/ml27.9 pg/ml28 pg/ml28.1 pg/ml28.2 pg/ml
28.3 pg/ml28.4 pg/ml28.5 pg/ml28.6 pg/ml28.7 pg/ml28.8 pg/ml28.9 pg/ml29 pg/ml
29.1 pg/ml29.2 pg/ml29.3 pg/ml29.4 pg/ml29.5 pg/ml29.6 pg/ml29.7 pg/ml29.8 pg/ml
29.9 pg/ml30 pg/ml30.1 pg/ml30.2 pg/ml30.3 pg/ml30.4 pg/ml30.5 pg/ml30.6 pg/ml
30.7 pg/ml30.8 pg/ml30.9 pg/ml31 pg/ml31.1 pg/ml31.2 pg/ml31.3 pg/ml31.4 pg/ml
31.5 pg/ml31.6 pg/ml31.7 pg/ml31.8 pg/ml31.9 pg/ml32 pg/ml32.1 pg/ml32.2 pg/ml
32.3 pg/ml32.4 pg/ml32.5 pg/ml32.6 pg/ml32.7 pg/ml32.8 pg/ml32.9 pg/ml33 pg/ml
33.1 pg/ml33.2 pg/ml33.3 pg/ml33.4 pg/ml33.5 pg/ml33.6 pg/ml33.7 pg/ml33.8 pg/ml
33.9 pg/ml34 pg/ml34.1 pg/ml34.2 pg/ml34.3 pg/ml34.4 pg/ml34.5 pg/ml34.6 pg/ml
34.7 pg/ml34.8 pg/ml34.9 pg/ml35 pg/ml35.1 pg/ml35.2 pg/ml35.3 pg/ml35.4 pg/ml
35.5 pg/ml35.6 pg/ml35.7 pg/ml35.8 pg/ml35.9 pg/ml36 pg/ml36.1 pg/ml36.2 pg/ml
36.3 pg/ml36.4 pg/ml36.5 pg/ml36.6 pg/ml36.7 pg/ml36.8 pg/ml36.9 pg/ml37 pg/ml
37.1 pg/ml37.2 pg/ml37.3 pg/ml37.4 pg/ml37.5 pg/ml37.6 pg/ml37.7 pg/ml37.8 pg/ml
37.9 pg/ml38 pg/ml38.1 pg/ml38.2 pg/ml38.3 pg/ml38.4 pg/ml38.5 pg/ml38.6 pg/ml
38.7 pg/ml38.8 pg/ml38.9 pg/ml39 pg/ml39.1 pg/ml39.2 pg/ml39.3 pg/ml39.4 pg/ml
39.5 pg/ml39.6 pg/ml39.7 pg/ml39.8 pg/ml39.9 pg/ml40 pg/ml40.1 pg/ml40.2 pg/ml
40.3 pg/ml40.4 pg/ml40.5 pg/ml40.6 pg/ml40.7 pg/ml40.8 pg/ml40.9 pg/ml41 pg/ml
41.1 pg/ml41.2 pg/ml41.3 pg/ml41.4 pg/ml41.5 pg/ml41.6 pg/ml41.7 pg/ml41.8 pg/ml
41.9 pg/ml42 pg/ml42.1 pg/ml42.2 pg/ml42.3 pg/ml42.4 pg/ml42.5 pg/ml42.6 pg/ml
42.7 pg/ml42.8 pg/ml42.9 pg/ml43 pg/ml43.1 pg/ml43.2 pg/ml43.3 pg/ml43.4 pg/ml
43.5 pg/ml43.6 pg/ml43.7 pg/ml43.8 pg/ml43.9 pg/ml44 pg/ml44.1 pg/ml44.2 pg/ml
44.3 pg/ml44.4 pg/ml44.5 pg/ml44.6 pg/ml44.7 pg/ml44.8 pg/ml44.9 pg/ml45 pg/ml
45.1 pg/ml45.2 pg/ml45.3 pg/ml45.4 pg/ml45.5 pg/ml45.6 pg/ml45.7 pg/ml45.8 pg/ml
45.9 pg/ml46 pg/ml46.1 pg/ml46.2 pg/ml46.3 pg/ml46.4 pg/ml46.5 pg/ml46.6 pg/ml
46.7 pg/ml46.8 pg/ml46.9 pg/ml47 pg/ml47.1 pg/ml47.2 pg/ml47.3 pg/ml47.4 pg/ml
47.5 pg/ml47.6 pg/ml47.7 pg/ml47.8 pg/ml47.9 pg/ml48 pg/ml48.1 pg/ml48.2 pg/ml
48.3 pg/ml48.4 pg/ml48.5 pg/ml48.6 pg/ml48.7 pg/ml48.8 pg/ml48.9 pg/ml49 pg/ml
49.1 pg/ml49.2 pg/ml49.3 pg/ml49.4 pg/ml49.5 pg/ml49.6 pg/ml49.7 pg/ml49.8 pg/ml
49.9 pg/ml50 pg/ml50.1 pg/ml50.2 pg/ml50.3 pg/ml50.4 pg/ml50.5 pg/ml50.6 pg/ml
50.7 pg/ml50.8 pg/ml50.9 pg/ml51 pg/ml51.1 pg/ml51.2 pg/ml51.3 pg/ml51.4 pg/ml
51.5 pg/ml51.6 pg/ml51.7 pg/ml51.8 pg/ml51.9 pg/ml52 pg/ml52.1 pg/ml52.2 pg/ml
52.3 pg/ml52.4 pg/ml52.5 pg/ml52.6 pg/ml52.7 pg/ml52.8 pg/ml52.9 pg/ml53 pg/ml
53.1 pg/ml53.2 pg/ml53.3 pg/ml53.4 pg/ml53.5 pg/ml53.6 pg/ml53.7 pg/ml53.8 pg/ml
53.9 pg/ml54 pg/ml54.1 pg/ml54.2 pg/ml54.3 pg/ml54.4 pg/ml54.5 pg/ml54.6 pg/ml
54.7 pg/ml54.8 pg/ml54.9 pg/ml55 pg/ml55.1 pg/ml55.2 pg/ml55.3 pg/ml55.4 pg/ml
55.5 pg/ml55.6 pg/ml55.7 pg/ml55.8 pg/ml55.9 pg/ml56 pg/ml56.1 pg/ml56.2 pg/ml
56.3 pg/ml56.4 pg/ml56.5 pg/ml56.6 pg/ml56.7 pg/ml56.8 pg/ml56.9 pg/ml57 pg/ml
57.1 pg/ml57.2 pg/ml57.3 pg/ml57.4 pg/ml57.5 pg/ml57.6 pg/ml57.7 pg/ml57.8 pg/ml
57.9 pg/ml58 pg/ml58.1 pg/ml58.2 pg/ml58.3 pg/ml58.4 pg/ml58.5 pg/ml58.6 pg/ml
58.7 pg/ml58.8 pg/ml58.9 pg/ml59 pg/ml59.1 pg/ml59.2 pg/ml59.3 pg/ml59.4 pg/ml
Medically reviewed by our Medical staff on 10/12/2021


  • Concise Book of Medical Laboratory Technology: Methods and Interpretations. 2nd Edition. 2015. Ramnik Sood. ISBN: 978-93-5152-333-8. Pag. 753.
  • Laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures : with nursing diagnoses. Jane Vincent Corbett, Angela Denise Banks. 8th ed. 2013. ISBN: 978-0-13-237332-6. Pag. 397.
  • Tietz. Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry. Carl A. Burtis, Edward R. Ashwood, David e. Bruns. 6th edition. 2008. Pag 349. ISBN: 978-0-7216-3865-2.

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