Blood test

Normal calcitonin level in the blood

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

What is the normal level of calcitonin in the blood?

The normal range of calcitonin is gender dependent:

Males: < 8.5 pg/ml
Females: < 5.0 pg/ml

Why normal values can differ across different labs?

Each laboratory must establish its own normal range for calcitonin in a blood test. These ranges depend on the makeup of the local population, the technologies used and the accuracy of the measurement. There may be also slight differences in the normal levels according to age, gender, race or ethnic origin, geographic region, diet, type of sample and other relevant status.

Your doctor will study the results along with your medical record, screenings, physical condition, symptoms and any other relevant information about your situation.

In pregnancy and lactation, there may be an increase in the normal range.

Normal ranges in newborns may be also higher than normal.

What is the function of calcitonin?

Calcitonin is a polypeptide with 32 amino acids and a molecular weight of about 3400 Da. It is produced by the parafollicular cells of the thyroid (C cells).

Normally, calcitonin is secreted in response to increased serum calcium because it inhibits the release of calcium from bone, increase the excretion of calcium in the urine and thus lowers the serum calcium concentration.

The serum half-life of calcitonin is very low, only about 12 minutes.

    What is the calcitonin test used for?

    The calcitonin is a tumor marker. It means that it raises in the presence of a malignant tumor. Calcitonin is used in the detection of medullary carcinoma of the thyroid, a type of thyroid cancer, not very common, that only stands for the 5% to 10% of all thyroid tumors.

    This test is recommended for the familiar cases of medullary carcinoma of the thyroid, because sometimes this type of cancer may be inherited. Asymptomatic family members of the affected patients benefit from this screening test because the finding of elevated levels of the hormone is useful in the early detection of tumors even with normal thyroid glands on physical examination.

    Calcitonin is also useful for monitoring treatment and detecting the recurrence of disease.

    Calcitonin concentrations are also elevated in some patients with cancer of the lung, breast, kidney, and liver.

    Calcitonin elevation has also been reported in other benign conditions, such as pulmonary disease, pancreatitis, hyperparathyroidism, pernicious anemia, Paget's disease and pregnancy.

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

    You can visit our pages about:

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

    The following values are considered to be normal values:

    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.

    0 pg/ml0.1 pg/ml0.2 pg/ml0.3 pg/ml0.4 pg/ml0.5 pg/ml0.6 pg/ml0.7 pg/ml
    0.8 pg/ml0.9 pg/ml1 pg/ml1.1 pg/ml1.2 pg/ml1.3 pg/ml1.4 pg/ml1.5 pg/ml
    1.6 pg/ml1.7 pg/ml1.8 pg/ml1.9 pg/ml2 pg/ml2.1 pg/ml2.2 pg/ml2.3 pg/ml
    2.4 pg/ml2.5 pg/ml2.6 pg/ml2.7 pg/ml2.8 pg/ml2.9 pg/ml3 pg/ml3.1 pg/ml
    3.2 pg/ml3.3 pg/ml3.4 pg/ml3.5 pg/ml3.6 pg/ml3.7 pg/ml3.8 pg/ml3.9 pg/ml
    4 pg/ml4.1 pg/ml4.2 pg/ml4.3 pg/ml4.4 pg/ml4.5 pg/ml4.6 pg/ml4.7 pg/ml
    4.8 pg/ml4.9 pg/ml5 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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