Hypertension is associated with cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) and with diffuse white matter hyperintensities (WMH) on T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We tested whether stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP), a model of chronic hypertension, exhibit WMH. Male SHRSP (age 10 months) without stroke symptoms were compared with age-matched male WKY rats. Stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats exhibited no WMH on MRI scans (T2, T2*, diffusion tensor imaging) and no neuropathological lesions. While leptomeningeal arteries exhibited fibrohyaline wall thickening, with decreased smooth muscle actin relative to WKY, deep penetrating arterioles within the caudate nuclei had no vasculopathy. We conclude that WMH are not an obligate feature of stroke-free SHRSP aged up to 10 months.