Predicting tissue outcome remains a challenge for stroke magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In this study, we have acquired multiparametric MRI data sets (including absolute T(1), T(2), diffusion, T(1rho) using continuous wave and adiabatic pulse approaches, cerebral blood flow (CBF), and amide proton transfer ratio (APTR) images) during and after 65 mins of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) in rats. The MRI scans were repeated 24 h after MCAo, when the animals were killed for quantitative histology. Magnetic resonance imaging parameters acquired at three acute time points were correlated with regionally matching cell count at 24 h. The results emphasize differences in the temporal profile of individual MRI contrasts during MCAo and especially during early reperfusion, and suggest that complementary information from CBF and tissue damage can be obtained with appropriate MRI contrasts. The data show that by using three to four MRI parameters, sensitive to both hemodynamic changes and different aspects of parenchymal changes, the fate of the tissue can be predicted with increased correlation compared with single-parameter techniques. Combined multiparametric MRI data and multiparametric analysis may provide an excellent tool for preclinical testing of new treatments and also has the potential to facilitate decision-making in the management of acute stroke patients.