Few studies have examined the relationship between inflammatory biomarker blood levels, cardioembolic stroke subtype and neurological deficit. So the aim of our study is to evaluate plasma levels of immuno-inflammatory variables in patients with cardio-embolic acute ischaemic stroke compared to other diagnostic subtypes and to evaluate the relationship between immuno-inflammatory variables, acute neurological deficit and brain infarct volume. One hundred twenty patients with acute ischaemic stroke and 123 controls without a diagnosis of acute ischaemic stroke were evaluated. The type of acute ischaemic stroke was classified according to the TOAST classification. We evaluated plasma levels of IL-1beta, TNF-alpha, IL-6 and IL-10, E-selectin, P-selectin, sICAM-1,sVCAM-1, vWF, TPA and PAI-1. Patients with ischaemic stroke classified as cardio-embolic (CEI) showed, compared to other subtypes, significantly higher median plasma levels of TNF-alpha , IL-6 and IL-1beta. Furthermore stroke patients classified as lacunar showed, compared to other subtypes, significantly lower median plasma levels of TNF-alpha, IL-6 and IL-1beta. Multiple linear regression showed a significant association between the Scandinavian Stroke Scale (SSS) score at admission and diagnostic subtype, infarct volume of cardio-embolic strokes and some inflammatory variables. Our findings confirm that cardio-embolic strokes have a worse clinical presentation and produce larger and more disabling strokes than other ischaemic stroke subtypes reporting a possible explanation of higher immuno-inflammatory activation of the acute phase.