The mismatch between a larger perfusion lesion and smaller diffusion lesion on magnetic resonance imaging is a validated signal of the ischemic penumbra, namely the region at risk in acute ischemic stroke that is critically hypoperfused and the target of reperfusion therapies. Clinical trials have shown strong correlations between reperfusion in mismatch patients and improved clinical outcomes. Attenuation of infarct growth is associated with reperfusion and corresponding clinical gains. Using computed tomography perfusion, the mismatch between relative cerebral blood flow or cerebral blood volume and perfusion delay is a comparable penumbral marker. Automated techniques allow rapid quantitative assessment of mismatch with thresholding to exclude benign oligemia. The penumbra is often present beyond the current 4.5-h time window, defined for the use of intravenous tPA. Treatment beyond this time point remains investigational. Although the efficacy of thrombolysis in mismatch patients requires further validation in randomized trials, there is now sufficient evidence to recommend that advanced neuroimaging of mismatch should be used for selection of delayed therapies in phase 3 trials.