The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of different real-time true fast imaging with steady precession (TrueFISP) sequences regarding their ability to depict the swallowing process and delineate oropharyngeal pathologies in patients with dysphagia. Real-time TrueFISP visualization of swallowing was performed in 8 volunteers and 6 patients with dysphagia using a 1.5 T scanner (Magnetom Sonata, Siemens, Erlangen Germany) equipped with high-performance gradients (amplitude 40 mT/m). Image quality of four different real-time TrueFISP sequences (TR 2.2-3.0 ms, TE 1.1-1.5 ms, matrix 63 x 128-135 x 256, field of view 250 mm(2), acquisition time per image 139-405 ms) was evaluated. Water, yoghurt, and semolina pudding were assessed as oral contrast agents. Functional exploration of the oropharyngeal apparatus was best possible using the fastest real-time TrueFISP sequence (TR 2.2 ms, TE 1.1 ms, matrix 63 x 128). Increased acquisition time resulted in blurring of anatomical structures. As the image contrast of TrueFISP sequences depends on T2/T1 properties, all tested foodstuff were well suited as oral contrast agents, but image quality was best using semolina pudding. Real-time visualization of swallowing is possible using real-time TrueFISP sequences in conjunction with oral contrast agents. For the functional exploration of swallowing high temporal resolution is more crucial than spatial resolution.