Background: Randomized controlled trials indicate that patent foramen ovate (PFO) closure reduces risk of stroke recurrence in patients with cryptogenic stroke and PFO. However, the optimal time point for PFO closure is unknown and depends on the risk of stroke recurrence. Objective: We aimed to investigate risk of early new ischemic lesions on cerebral magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in cryptogenic stroke patients with and without PFO. Methods: Cryptogenic stroke patients underwent serial MRI examinations within 1 week after symptom onset to detect early new ischemic lesions. Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) lesions were delineated, co-registered, and analyzed visually for new hyperintensities by raters blinded to clinical details. A PFO was classified as stroke-related in patients with PFO and a Risk of Paradoxical Embolism (RoPE) score >5 points. Results: Out of 80 cryptogenic stroke patients, risk of early recurrent DWI lesions was not significantly different in cryptogenic stroke patients with and without PFO. Similar results were observed in patients <= 60 years of age. Patients with a stroke-related PFO even had a significantly lower risk of early recurrent ischemic lesions compared to all other patients with cryptogenic stroke (unadjusted odds ratio 0.23 [95% confidence interval 0.06-0.87], P = 0.030). Conclusion: Our data argue against a high risk of early stroke recurrence in patients with cryptogenic stroke and PFO.