Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is characterized by destruction of the lung parenchyma and/or small airway narrowing. To determine whether the dimensions of relatively large airways assessed using computed tomography (CT) reflect small airway dimensions measured histologically, we assessed these variables in nonobstructed or mild to moderately obstructed patients having lobar resection for a peripheral tumor. For both CT and histology, the square root of the airway wall area (Aaw) was plotted versus lumen perimeter to estimate wall thickness. The wall area percentage was calculated as wall area/lumen area + wall area x 100. Although CT overestimated Aaw, the slopes of the relationships between the square root of Aaw and internal perimeter (Pi) measured with both techniques were related (CT slope = 0.2059 histology slope + 0.1701, R2 = 0.32, p < 0.01). The mean wall area percentage measured by CT for airways with a Pi of greater than 0.75 cm predicted the mean dimensions of the small airways with an internal diameter of 1.27 mm (R2 = 0.57, p < 0.01). We conclude that CT measurements of airways with a Pi of 0.75 cm or more could be used to estimate the dimensions of the small conducting airways, which are the site of airway obstruction in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.