Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) were used to evaluate chronic ischemic regions in 26 stroke patients before and 1, 3, and 6 months after revascularization surgery. The volume of interest for proton MRS was placed in an area including part of the frontal and temporal opercula, insular cortex, and basal ganglia. Twenty healthy volunteers served as controls for proton MRS. Patients were divided into three groups according to the preoperative proton MRS. Group A (n = 12) had significantly lower N-acetylaspartate/choline (NAA/Cho) and N-acetylaspartate/creatine (NAA/Cr) ratios on the operative side compared to those on the contralateral side, and also lower than those in normal subjects. In seven patients in Group A, postoperative serial proton MRS demonstrated no recovery of these ratios on the operative side. However, proton MRS of the other five patients indicated gradual improvement in these ratios on the operative side at 3 to 6 months after surgery, and SPECT indicated an increase in cerebral blood flow on the operative side in four of these five patients. In Group B (n = 9), proton MRS and SPECT showed no laterality before revascularization and no remarkable change during the postoperative course. In Group C (n = 5), NAA/Cho or NAA/Cr decreased on the contralateral side preoperatively. Two patients showed fluctuating values of NAA/Cho or NAA/Cr during the postoperative period. Serial proton MRS and SPECT studies may be useful for the evaluation of revascularization surgery on ischemic regions. The efficacy of revascularization surgery on the metabolism may appear gradually within 3-6 months.