Background and Purpose-Despite standardization of experimental stroke models, final infarct sizes after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) vary considerably. This introduces uncertainties in the evaluation of drug effects on stroke. Magnetic resonance imaging may detect variability of surgically induced ischemia before treatment and thus improve treatment effect evaluation. Methods-MCAO of 45 and 90 minutes induced brain infarcts in 83 mice. During, and 3 and 6 hours after MCAO, we performed multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging. We evaluated time courses of cerebral blood flow, apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), T1, T2, accuracy of infarct prediction strategies, and impact on statistical evaluation of experimental stroke studies. Results-ADC decreased during MCAO but recovered completely on reperfusion after 45 and partially after 90-minute MCAO, followed by a secondary decline. ADC lesion volumes during MCAO or at 6 hours after MCAO largely determined final infarct volumes for 90 but not for 45 minutes MCAO. The majority of chance findings of final infarct volume differences in random group allocations of animals were associated with significant differences in early ADC lesion volumes for 90, but not for 45-minute MCAO. Conclusions-The prediction accuracy of early magnetic resonance imaging for infarct volumes depends on timing of magnetic resonance imaging and MCAO duration. Variability of the posterior communicating artery in C57Bl6 mice contributes to differences in prediction accuracy between short and long MCAO. Early ADC imaging may be used to reduce errors in the interpretation of post MCAO treatment effects on stroke volumes.