We assessed predictors of spontaneous early neurological recovery after acute ischemic stroke by means of multivariate analysis in a cohort of 1,473 consecutive patients treated at one academic center. At hospital discharge, spontaneous neurological improvement or good outcome was defined as grades 0-2 of the Rankin scale, and poor outcome (no improvement or in-hospital death) as grades 3-5. Spontaneous recovery of neurological deficit at the time of discharge from the hospital was observed in 16% of patients with cerebral infarction (n = 238). Dysarthria-clumsy hand syndrome improved in 44% of patients and was the only variable significantly associated with in-hospital functional recovery in three logistic regression models that in addition to lacunar syndromes, included demographic variables, cardiovascular risk factors, and clinical variables [odds ratio (OR) 2.56], neuroimaging findings (OR 2.48), and outcome data (OR 2.39), respectively. Clinical factors related to severity of infarction available at stroke onset have a predominant influence upon in-hospital outcome and may help clinicians to assess prognosis more accurately. Our work gives a contribution into prognostic factors after acute ischemic stroke. With regard to patterns of stroke, dysarthria-clumsy hand syndrome was a significant predictor of spontaneous in-hospital recovery in ischemic stroke patients.