One of the major limitations to preclinical mouse therapeutic evaluation is the inherent difficulty in imaging small tumors in vivo. We present a rapid and reliable method to detect optic glioma (OPG) in a mouse neurofibromatosis-1 model (Nf1(flox/mut)GFAP-Cre mice) in vivo using Manganese-Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MEMRI). In a blinded study, 23 mice were chosen randomly from a cohort of Nf1(flox/mut)GFAP-Cre mice and two sets of age-matched controls. In all cases, OPG presence or absence was correctly identified. In addition, the OPG size and shape were accurately measured in vivo, facilitating the use of this model for preclinical drug studies.