We investigated prognostic importance of electrocardiographic (ECG) changes in ischaemic stroke patients without primary heart disease because of the limited evidence. This study consisted of 162 patients (92 male, age 64 +/- 14 years) with first ischaemic stroke presenting to hospital during 18 months. One-month mortality was analysed by means of ischaemia-like ECG changes, long QT and arrhythmia. Ischaemia-like ECG changes were observed in 79% of stroke patients and long QTc in 26% and arrhythimas in 44%. Early mortality rate was 27% (n = 44). Age, ST-segment change and abnormal U wave were univariate predictors of early mortality (each p < 0.05). In multivariate analysis, age > 65 years (OR = 1.4, p = 0.02) and presence of ST-segment change (OR= 2.6, p = 0.0 1) were only independent predictors. Although sensitivity and specificity of ST-segment change were relatively low to identify patients at risk of death, its negative predictive value was 82%.