Background: Children belonging to the multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN 2) pedigree and carrying germline RET mutations are candidates for prophylactic thyroidectomy, the timing of which is based on the mutation-associated risk and the calcitonin (CT) levels. Design: The aim of this study was to establish the reference range for serum CT in a pediatric population. The study included 2740 subjects (1339 females and 1401 males) ranging in age from 1 day to 16 years and undergoing blood testing for any medical condition not affecting serum CT. Results: Overall, serum CT was undetectable in 61.5% of the samples and detectable in 38.5%. Detectable samples were more frequent in the first 2 years of life. Thereafter, undetectable samples became more frequent, particularly in females. Mean serum CT concentrations were higher in the first year of life (9.81 ± 8.8 pg/mL; range, 2.0-48.9 pg/mL) and the second year of life (4.56 ± 2.64 pg/mL; range, 2.0-14.7 pg/mL). A significant decrease of serum CT levels was observed thereafter (P <.001), and starting from the third year of life serum CT levels were similar to those found in adults. No gender difference was found in any age group. Based on these results, age-specific CT reference ranges are needed in the pediatric population, and especially in the first 2 years of life. Conclusions: This is the first study defining the reference range for serum CT in the pediatric population and large enough to be statistically meaningful. Our proposal may facilitate the process of decision making when dealing with gene carriers of MEN 2.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism