Perfusion-and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging scans are thought to allow the characterization of tissue at risk of infarction. The authors tested the hypothesis that the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) decrease should be associated with the severity of the perfusion deficit in ischemic tissue of acute stroke patients. Perfusion-and diffusion-weighted scans were performed in 11 patients with sudden onset of neurologic deficits within the last 6 hours and T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging scans were obtained after 6 days. Parameter images of the maximum of the contrast agent concentration, time to peak, relative cerebral blood volume, relative cerebral blood flow, and relative mean transit time were computed from the perfusion-weighted data. A threshold function was used to identify tissue volumes with stepwise ADC decreases. An onionlike distribution of successively decreasing ADC values was found, with the lowest ADC in the center of the ischemic region. Correspondingly, tissue perfusion decreased progressively from the periphery toward the ischemic core. This effect was most pronounced in the time-to-peak maps, with a linear association between ADC decrease and time-to-peak increase. Apparent diffusion coefficient values decreased from the periphery toward the ischemic core, and this distribution of ADC values was strongly associated with the severity of the perfusion deficit.