In order to determine the potential clinical utility of high-resolution CT (HRCT) in the assessment of drug-induced lung disease, we reviewed the chest radiographs and HRCT scans of 23 patients and five normal controls. The radiographs and HRCT scans were reviewed separately in random order by two independent observers who were not aware of the relative numbers of patients and controls. Abnormal findings were detected in the affected patients in 17/23 radiographs compared to 23/23 HRCT scans. The patients included five cases of bleomycin toxicity, five cases of nitrofurantoin toxicity, two cases each of penicillamine, busulphan, BCNU and amiodarone toxicity, and one case each of cyclophosphamide, procainamide, mitomycin and methotrexate toxicity. The HRCT appearances could be grouped into four categories according to their dominant pattern and distribution of disease. These include fibrosis with or without consolidation (n = 12), ground-glass opacities (n = 7), widespread bilateral consolidation (n = 2), and bronchial wall thickening with areas of decreased attenuation (n = 2). The results of this study indicate that HRCT is more sensitive than the radiograph in the detection of drug-induced lung disease. The appearances demonstrated by HRCT reflect the pathological mechanisms of drug-induced lung disease.