Oesophageal carcinoma is a disease with poor prognosis despite improved treatment and diagnostic methods. The most important prognostic features are the degree of wall invasion and the presence of lymph node metastasis. Endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) in the region of 7.5-12 MHz has improved the accuracy of tumour staging. In the course of 1 year, 21 patients with oesophageal carcinoma were examined with 20 MHz high-resolution intraluminal ultrasonography (HRES). In 11 (52%) patients, both ultrasound catheter and fiber gastroscope could pass the tumour, in 5 (23%) only the ultrasound catheter could pass. In the remaining patients the ultrasound catheter could only partially pass without prior dilatation. One patient was classified as having a stage T2 tumour, 14 (67%) had T3 and 4 (19%) had T4. In 2 patients the tumour could not be fully classified but was at least T3 When comparing our results with findings at computed tomography (CT), the T stage coincided in 9 patients (42%), in 9 patients (42%) CT could not differentiate between T2 and T3 and in 3 investigations HRES showed a higher T stage than CT. In 3 patients (14%) ultrasonography found N1 stage where CT staged N0. In one patient, CT found lymph nodes not seen with HRES. Further studies comparing EUS, HRES and surgical findings are planned to assess our view that HRES is a useful method in preoperative staging of oesophageal carcinoma.