Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of acute stroke has made important contributions to diagnosis. Several novel MR technologies, now in preclinical and clinical development, will contribute to stroke diagnosis and perhaps help to guide therapy. MR angiography is the most clinically advanced new MR technology and offers the clinician a method to image noninvasively the extra- and intracranial vasculature. Diffusion-weighted MR imaging can demonstrate ischemic lesions quantitatively within minutes of onset in experimental stroke models, and human application is proceeding. Perfusion MR studies can reveal the presence or absence of cerebral perfusion in specific arterial territories. MR spectroscopy can assess tissue metabolites in vivo and reveal changes in these metabolites associated with ischemic injury. The combination of these new MR techniques should provide a plethora of information about the extent of ischemic lesions, associated vascular and perfusion deficits, and metabolic consequences. This information will afford the clinician the opportunity to assess and subtype ischemic stroke patients more rapidly and could be used to monitor therapeutic responses.