Chemistry
Thyroid related
Calcium stimulation test for calcitonin

Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 23 February 2016, last major update March 2011

Copyright: (c) 2002-2016, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Calcium stimulation test [title] calcitonin
Definition / General
  • A provocative test to expose C cell abnormalities, since it increases calcitonin at all stages of medullary thyroid carcinoma
Laboratory
Indications
  • Has been replaced by genetic testing
  • May be less sensitive than pentagastrin stimulation test

Procedure
  • Give 2.5 mg/kg of calcium gluconate over 30 seconds, collect blood at time 0, 1, 2 and 5 minutes to determine calcitonin levels
Interpretation
  • Rise in calcitonin > 100 ng/L suggests early medullary thyroid carcinoma