The objective of this study was to determine the calcitonin (CT) hormone reserve in different severity of atrophic autoimmune thyroiditis (AAT). Forty-eight female patients with AAT were divided into four groups based on basal and peak thyrotropin (TSH) values (after oral thyrotropin-releasing hormone [TRH], free triiodothyronine (FT3) and free thyroxine (FT4) ranging from normal in group 1 to overt hypothyroidism in group 4. All had thyroid antibodies. The control group comprised euthyroid females of comparable age, without thyroid antibodies. Basal CT and CT response to calcium infusion (area under the curve) were investigated as parameters of CT reserve. Basal CT was lower in groups 2 to 4 of patients with AAT (compared to controls), but the difference was not significant. Stimulated CT levels were lower (p < 0.05) in all groups of patients compared to controls, with markedly reduced CT-secretory reserve in group 4. Thyroid antibody concentrations and, basal and postinfusion calcium levels were not significantly different among the various groups. In conclusion CT deficiency (especially stimulated values) occurs in AAT and is more severe in hypothyroid patients than in earlier stages of AAT.