2-hydroxyglutarate (2-HG) has emerged as a biomarker of tumour cell IDH mutations that may enable the differential diagnosis of glioma patients. At 3 Tesla, detection of 2-HG with magnetic resonance spectroscopy is challenging because of metabolite signal overlap and a spectral pattern modulated by slice selection and chemical shift displacement. Using density matrix simulations and phantom experiments, an optimised semi-LASER scheme (TE = 110 ms) improves localisation of the 2-HG spin system considerably compared to an existing PRESS sequence. This results in a visible 2-HG peak in the in vivo spectra at 1.9 ppm in the majority of IDH mutated tumours. Detected concentrations of 2-HG were similar using both sequences, although the use of semi-LASER generated narrower confidence intervals. Signal overlap with glutamate and glutamine, as measured by pairwise fitting correlation was reduced. Lactate was readily detectable across glioma patients using the method presented here (mean CLRB: (10±2)%). Together with more robust 2-HG detection, long TE semi-LASER offers the potential to investigate tumour metabolism and stratify patients in vivo at 3T.
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