OBJECTIVE : To develop and validate a scoring system integrating MRI and laboratory findings to differentiate necrotizing fasciitis (NF) from non-necrotizing fasciitis (non-NF). METHODS : This retrospective study included 144 subjects who underwent surgery in one of three tertiary referral centers for NF or cellulitis with non-NF. The development cohort consisted of 96 subjects (NF = 47; non-NF = 49) from one center, and the validation cohort consisted of 48 subjects (NF = 23; cellulitis with non-NF = 25) from two different centers. The Laboratory Risk Indicator for Necrotizing Fasciitis (LRINEC) scoring system and five MRI findings (thickening of the intermuscular deep fascia ≥ 3 mm, extensive involvement of the deep fascia, multi-compartmental involvement in one extremity, presence of gas, and contrast-enhancement pattern) were included in univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis to identify independent predictors of NF. An additive scoring system was developed using the coefficients of the final regression model. Model performance was assessed for discrimination and calibration. The scoring system was externally validated. RESULTS : The final scoring system consisted of three variables: thickening of the deep fascia ≥ 3 mm, multi-compartmental involvement, and LRINEC score. The new predictive model showed improved performance (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUC], 0.862; positive and negative predictive values, 82% and 79%, respectively), compared with the LRINEC score alone (0.814, 77% and 67%, respectively). The model also showed good discrimination with the external validation dataset (AUC, 0.933). CONCLUSIONS : Differentiation of NF from severe cellulitis with non-NF can be achieved with the new predictive scoring system. CONCLUSIONS : • The new predictive scoring system integrating two MRI findings with the LRINEC score can help in the differentiation of necrotizing fasciitis from severe cellulitis with non-necrotizing fasciitis. • Thickening of the deep fascia ≥ 3 mm and multi-compartmental involvement were the most important MRI findings for the differentiation.