One of the main sources of information regarding the underlying processes involved in both normal and impaired reading has been the study of reading deficits that occur as a result of brain damage. However, patterns of reading deficits found acutely after brain injury have been little explored. The observed patterns of performance in chronic stroke patients might reflect reorganization of the cognitive processes underlying reading or development of compensatory strategies that are not normally used to read. Method: 112 acute left hemisphere stroke patients were administered a task of oral reading of words and pseudowords within 1-2 days of hospital admission; performance was examined for error rate and type, and compared to that on tasks involving visual lexical decision, visual/auditory comprehension, and naming. Results: Several distinct patterns of performance were identified. Although similarities were found between the patterns of reading performance observed acutely and the classical acquired dyslexias generally identified more chronically, some notable differences were observed. Of interest was the finding that no patient produced any pure semantic errors in reading, despite finding such errors in comprehension and naming. © 2009/2010 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.