Mutations of the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 genes (IDH1 and IDH2) are commonly found in primary brain cancers. We previously reported that a novel enzymatic activity of these mutations results in the production of the putative oncometabolite, R(-)-2-hydroxyglutarate (2-HG). Here we investigated the ability of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to detect 2-HG production in order to non-invasively identify patients with IDH1 mutant brain tumors. Patients with intrinsic glial brain tumors (n = 27) underwent structural and spectroscopic magnetic resonance imaging prior to surgery. 2-HG levels from MRS data were quantified using LC-Model software, based upon a simulated spectrum obtained from a GAMMA library added to the existing prior knowledge database. The resected tumors were then analyzed for IDH1 mutational status by genomic DNA sequencing, Ki-67 proliferation index by immunohistochemistry, and concentrations of 2-HG and other metabolites by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). MRS detected elevated 2-HG levels in gliomas with IDH1 mutations compared to those with wild-type IDH1 (P = 0.003). The 2-HG levels measured in vivo with MRS were significantly correlated with those measured ex vivo from the corresponding tumor samples using LC-MS (r (2) = 0.56; P = 0.0001). Compared with wild-type tumors, those with IDH1 mutations had elevated choline (P = 0.01) and decreased glutathione (P = 0.03) on MRS. Among the IDH1 mutated gliomas, quantitative 2-HG values were correlated with the Ki-67 proliferation index of the tumors (r ( 2 ) = 0.59; P = 0.026). In conclusion, water-suppressed proton ((1)H) MRS provides a non-invasive measure of 2-HG in gliomas, and may serve as a potential biomarker for patients with IDH1 mutant brain tumors. In addition to 2-HG, alterations in several other metabolites measured by MRS correlate with IDH1 mutation status.