MicroRNAs have been identified as key regulators of gene expression and thus their potential in disease diagnostics, prognosis and therapy is being actively pursued. Deregulation of microRNAs in cerebral pathogenesis has been reported to a limited extent in both animal models and human. Due to the complexity of the pathology, identifying stroke specific microRNAs has been a challenge. This study shows that microRNA profiles reflect not only the temporal progression of stroke but also the specific etiologies. A panel of 32 microRNAs, which could differentiate stroke etiologies during acute phase was identified and verified using a customized TaqMan Low Density Array (TLDA). Furthermore we also found 5 microRNAs, miR-125b-2*, -27a*, -422a, -488 and -627 to be consistently altered in acute stroke irrespective of age or severity or confounding metabolic complications. Differential expression of these 5 microRNAs was also observed in rat stroke models. Hence, their specificity to the stroke pathology emphasizes the possibility of developing these microRNAs into accurate and useful tools for diagnosis of stroke.