Background: Distinction between radiation necrosis and recurrence of intraparenchymal tumors is necessary to select the appropriate treatment, but it is often difficult based on imaging features alone. We developed an algorithm for analyzing magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) findings and studied its accuracy in differentiation between radiation necrosis and tumor recurrence.Methods: Thirty-three patients with a history of intraparenchymal brain tumor resection and radiotherapy, which had developed new enhancing lesion were evaluated by MRS and subsequently underwent reoperation. Lesions with Choline (Cho)/N- acetyl aspartate (NAA) > 1.8 or Cho/Lipid > 1 were considered as tumor recurrence and the remaining as radiation necrosis. Finally, pre-perative MRS diagnoses were compared with histopathological report.Results: The histological diagnosis was recurrence in 25 patients and necrosis in 8 patients. Mean Cho/NAA in recurrent tumors was 2.72, but it was 1.46 in radiation necrosis (P < 0.01). Furthermore, Cho/Lipid was significantly higher in recurrent tumors (P < 0.01) with the mean of 2.78 in recurrent tumors and 0.6 in radiation necrosis. Sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic accuracy of the algorithm for detecting tumor recurrence were 84%, 75% and 81%, respectively. Conclusion: MRS is a safe and informative tool for differentiating between tumor recurrence and radiation necrosis.