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Endocr Relat Cancer. 2012 May 24;19(3):345-9. doi: 10.1530/ERC-12-0013. Print 2012 Jun.

Interpretation of serum calcitonin in patients with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis.

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Unit of Endocrinology, Department of Experimental Medicine, Sapienza Università di Roma, V.le Regina Elena, 324, 00161 Rome, Italy.


Calcitonin (CT) is an important clinical marker for the diagnosis and follow-up of medullary thyroid carcinoma, although it is not absolutely specific. Some authors have reported C-cell hyperplasia in a number of thyroid specimens affected by Hashimoto's thyroiditis. The association between thyroiditis and hypercalcitoninemia is still controversial because some authors have reported low CT levels. The aim of this study is to evaluate the basal CT values in patients with and without thyroid autoimmunity. From May 2005 to February 2010, 1073 patients underwent ultrasonography-guided fine-needle aspiration cytology at the Thyroid Center of Sapienza University of Rome, with evaluation of basal serum FT4, FT3, TSH, and antithyroid peroxidase (anti-TPO) antibodies as well as CT levels. Forty-one patients presented a basal CT level above the reference upper limit. The mean serum CT was significantly lower in women than in men (4.28 ± 6.63 vs 7.50 ± 25.50  pg/ml; P<0.01). Basal serum CT was not significantly higher in patients showing anti-TPO Ab positivity (4.71 ± 6.46 vs 4.84 ± 13.11  pg/ml; P>0.05). Importantly, the rate of 'suspicious' CT values (above the 10  pg/ml cutoff) was not significantly different between patients with or without thyroid autoimmunity (3.9 vs 3.0%). Patients with hypercalcitoninemia suffering from chronic autoimmune thyroiditis should undergo the same clinical evaluation procedure as patients do without thyroid autoimmunity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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