Last revised by Henry Knipe on 12 Apr 2021

F-18 DOPA (3,4-dihydroxy-6-[18F]fluoro-L-phenylalanine) is a PET radiotracer primarily used in the evaluation of neuropsychiatric diseases, movement disorders, and brain malignancies 1


L-DOPA is the nonproteinogenic amino acid precursor to dopamine with F-18 DOPA, in recent years, being synthesized by a nucleophilic substitution reaction.

Clinical uses

F-18 DOPA has mainly been used in the assessment of Parkinson disease 2, schizophrenia and gliomas.  There is some emerging evidence that it may be used for pheochromocytoma, extra-adrenal abdominal paraganglioma as well as congenital hyperinsulinemia 3.

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