It has been reported that white blood cells (WBC) may contribute to the initiation and further development of stroke. WBC count could have influence on hemorheology, thrombosis and induction of vasoconstriction in cerebral arteries. The aim of this work was to determine whether WBC count assessed in patients with acute stroke in the first day of the disease have a predictive value for the late clinical outcomes. Peripheral WBC count was measured at the admission to the hospital in 100 consecutive patients with acute stroke. Ischemic stroke was confirmed in all patients by head CT. Neurological status was evaluated with the use of modified Rankin's Scale. We assessed the following clinical outcomes: in-hospital mortality, the lack of neurological improvement on the 21st day of disease, and the need for hospital stay longer than 21 days. Odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) adjusted for patient's age, gender, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus and previous stroke was calculated with the use of logistic regression. OR was evaluated both for the presence of WBC count > 10.000 cells/microliter and for each 1000 leukocytes/microliter increase. WBC count greater than 10.000 cells/microliter was associated with a more than seventy-fold greater risk for death (OR--75.18; 95% CI: 8.89-635.84; p = 0.0001), nearly eight times increased risk for the no-improvement status (OR--7.78; 95% CI: 2.51-24.17; p = 0.0004) and approximately four times increased risk for the prolonged hospital stay (OR--4.20; 95% CI: 1.50-11.72; p = 0.0062). Each 1000 cell/microliter increase in WBC count at the admission was associated with increased risk for in-hospital mortality (OR--2.24; 95% CI: 1.39-3.57; p = 0.0008), no neurological improvement (OR--1.43; 95% CI: 1.15-1.76; p = 0.0009) and the need for prolonged hospitalization (OR--1.26; 95% CI: 1.07-1.49; p = 0.0066). Increased WBC count within the first 12 hours of stroke is an independent and strong risk factor for mortality, no neurological improvement, and the need for prolonged hospitalization in the course of acute ischemic stroke.