This experiment was conducted in compliance with the guidelines of the International Committee on Thrombosis and Hemostasis and the current institutional regulations for use and care of laboratory animals. The purpose of the present study was to report the feasibility of using clinical magnetic resonance (MR) imaging devices for depiction of stroke in a rat model. Twenty-four rats with photochemically induced thrombosis of the middle cerebral artery were examined at superacute (1 hour, n = 24), acute (12 hours, n = 12), and subacute (24 hours, n = 12) phases with 1.5-T MR imaging weighted for T1, T2, diffusion, and gadopentetate dimeglumine-enhanced perfusion. With reasonable signal-to-noise ratio and imaging times, ischemic lesions were well distinguished on MR images as validated qualitatively and quantitatively with postmortem standard-of-reference techniques, including volume-rendered computed tomography, microangiography, and histochemistry. In the superacute phase, the perfusion defect at perfusion-weighted MR imaging was well matched with microangiographic and pathologic findings (P > .05). There was no difference in lesion size at perfusion-weighted MR imaging between superacute and subacute phases (P > .05). Performance of certain stroke-related research in rats is feasible with clinical MR imagers.