Results of magnetic resonance spectroscopic (MRS) studies of the chemical patterns in brain tumors have been inconsistent. Actual biochemical correlations are needed. In 2 patients with heterogeneous intracranial tumors, in vivo 1H MRS and in vitro biochemical analyses were correlated. Histology confirmed the tumor heterogeneity. Choline was elevated in the cellular portion of both tumors but decreased in the necrotic or cystic portions. Creatine was diffusely decreased while lactate was elevated in all regions of both tumors. Furthermore, the increase in the choline peak on 1H MRS appeared to be due to increases in water-soluble choline compounds. This study illustrates the value of small localized voxels for differentiating regional chemical differences in tumors.