Recent literature has identified many of the important factors helpful in predicting outcome even at the very acute stage of stroke. Demographic factors, risk factors, clinical exam findings, clinical scales laboratory tests, and neuroimaging all provide important information that can assist the clinician in predicting outcome. Specific factors seem to influence the effect of stroke treatments such as thrombolysis. Consideration of these factors is important when treatment decisions such as thrombolysis are being contemplated. New techniques such as eco-planar MR Imaging are now being developed that seem extremely accurate in predicting outcome. These techniques represent the "crystal ball" of predicting stroke outcome.