Résumé : Occasional seemingly healthy individuals have above-normal concentrations of calcitonin-like immunoreactivity in their plasma, which can lead to mistaken diagnosis of thyroidal or other cancer. We measured immunoreactive calcitonin (CT) before and after extracting the plasma on columns of silica (to improve sensitivity and specificity of the assay for monomeric calcitonin) in five "healthy high-CT" men (I), five patients with known medullary thyroid carcinoma (II), and 30 normal controls (III). Median (and range) values (pg/mL = ng/L) for whole-plasma immunoreactive CT in these groups were, respectively, 379 (157-526), 429 (174-563), and 33 (less than 25-92). Dose-dilution curves for plasma samples from group I did not parallel the standard curve, in contrast to samples from the other two groups. Values for extractable CT from plasma from groups I and III, however, were indistinguishable, but remained significantly increased in group II. Infusions of Ca, 2 mg/kg body wt. in 5 min, produced the expected (normal) increases in extractable CT in group I. The occasional factor (or factors) in plasma of healthy persons that interferes in assays for CT is eliminated by the silica extraction method, and in this way such cases can be distinguished from cases of medullary thyroid carcinoma.