1. In eight conscious pigs equipped with gastric and duodenal cannulae, the relationship of transpyloric flow to gastro-duodenal motor events was evaluated during gastric emptying of 1000 ml of saline. Rates of liquid gastric emptying were correlated with pressures at the antrum, pylorus and duodenum, recorded by a sleeve sensor and multiple perfused side-holes. Transpyloric flow was recorded concurrently by continuous collection and weighing of the duodenal effluent. 2. In three pigs the above measurements were repeated during concurrent videofluoroscopy of gastric emptying after adding 100 ml of liquid barium to the gastric instillate. 3. The mean volume of saline emptied in 30 min was 627 +/- 51.2 ml. Pulsatile flow accounted for 71% of total emptying. Pulses had a mean flow rate of 3.9 +/- 0.44 ml s-1. Most flow pulses (59%) occurred during the first 5 min of emptying. 4. Distinctive, low-amplitude (4.8 +/- 0.33 mmHg), relatively long-lasting (15.8 +/- 0.46 s) antral pressure waves were associated with 58% of flow pulses. In all antral pressure recording points, the first and longest duration component of these pressure waves had an identical timing, amplitude and waveform consistent with pressurization of the entire antrum-gastric cavity. 5. Videofluoroscopy and concurrent manometry showed that these antral common cavity pressure waves were associated with non-lumen-occlusive contractions of the gastric wall, initially observed at the corpus which propagated down to the pylorus; 93% of these contractions became lumen occlusive in the terminal antrum and pylorus when pressure waves of a unique pattern for each recording point were recorded at this level. 6. The onset of 68% of the flow pulses which accounted for 62% of pulsatile emptying occurred in the interval (mean 7.9 +/- 0.65 s) between the onset of the common cavity wave and the onset of localized, lumen-occlusive distal antral-pyloric pressure waves. 7. These findings indicate that in the pig, pulsatile emptying of non-nutrient liquids into the duodenum occurs predominantly during the non-lumen-occlusive stage of a propagated gastric contraction, which is recognisable as a common cavity pressure wave. This is a previously inadequately recognized pattern of gastric pumping.