- BACKGROUND AND AIMS: High-resolution manometry (HRM) is a recent development in oesophageal measurement; its value in the clinical setting remains a matter of controversy. (i) We compared the accuracy with which bolus transport could be predicted from conventional manometry and HRM. (ii) The clinical value of HRM was assessed in a series of patients with endoscopy-negative dysphagia in whom conventional investigations had been non-diagnostic. METHOD: (i) Control subjects and patients with endoscopy-negative dysphagia underwent concurrent HRM and video-fluoroscopy. Ninety-five records were reviewed using HRM with spatiotemporal plot and conventional line plots of the pressure data derived from the same recording. (ii) The HRM and notes of patients with endoscopy-negative dysphagia and abnormal bolus transport were analysed to identify additional information provided by the new technique. RESULTS: (i) Receiver operating characteristic analysis demonstrated that HRM predicts the presence of abnormal bolus transport more accurately than conventional manometry. (ii) HRM identified clinically important motor dysfunction not detected by manometry and radiography. These included localized disturbances of peristalsis and abnormal movement of the lower oesophageal sphincter during oesophageal spasm. CONCLUSION: The HRM predicts bolus movement more accurately than conventional manometry and identifies clinically relevant oesophageal dysfunction not detected by other investigations including conventional manometry.