The majority of WHO grades II and III gliomas harbor a missense mutation in the metabolic gene isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) and accumulate the metabolite R-2-hydroxyglutarate (R-2HG). Prior studies showed that this metabolite can be detected in vivo using proton magnetic-resonance spectroscopy (MRS), but the sensitivity of this methodology and its clinical implications are unknown.Methods
We developed an MR imaging protocol to integrate 2HG-MRS into routine clinical glioma imaging and examined its performance in 89 consecutive glioma patients.Results
Detection of 2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG) in IDH-mutant gliomas was closely linked to tumor volume, with sensitivity ranging from 8% for small tumors (<3.4 mL) to 91% for larger tumors (>8 mL). In patients undergoing 2HG-MRS prior to surgery, tumor levels of 2HG corresponded with tumor cellularity but not with tumor grade or mitotic index. Cytoreductive therapy resulted in a gradual decrease in 2HG levels with kinetics that closely mirrored changes in tumor volume.Conclusions
Our study demonstrates that 2HG-MRS can be linked with routine MR imaging to provide quantitative measurements of 2HG in glioma and may be useful as an imaging biomarker to monitor the abundance of IDH-mutant tumor cells noninvasively during glioma therapy and disease monitoring.