Corrosion by liquid oxides is one of the most severe modes of degradations which limit the lifetime of the refractory linings. The study of the microstructures of corroded refractories provides essential information. However, the interpretation of the microscopic observations is difficult : - The refractories are multi-component and heterogeneous ceramics, - The microscopic observations are carried out at room temperature. They are not representative of the mineral and vitreous phases existing at high temperature, - During cooling, new solid phases appear by crystallization of liquid oxides. The composition of the vitreous phases also evolves with the temperature. Consequently, the information obtained is often limited. In this paper , we will present a method to analyse and interpret the microstructures of refractories after use. The concept of local thermodynamic equilibrium and the use of the phase rule make it possible to interpret the microstructures of corroded refractories, to explain the observed mineral zonation and to quantify the composition of the liquid phase at high temperature from chemical profiles established by S.E.M. Experimental data from corrosion of MgO-C, Al2O3-MgO and high alumina refractories will illustrate and validate this theoretical approach.