Bronchiectasis has been defined as the abnormal and permanent dilation of bronchi. It has a variety of causes and has traditionally been viewed as a condition that is irreversible, often progressive and associated with significant morbidity and mortality. In the past, patients had relatively advanced disease by the time the diagnosis was established. By using high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) scanning of the chest, the potential now exists for the much earlier detection and treatment of children with lesser degrees of bronchial dilation and bronchial wall thickening than was previously possible. In some, the HRCT changes have been seen to improve or completely resolve. This calls into question exactly what now should be termed bronchiectasis and how the parents of children with such HRCT findings should be counselled about the likely prognosis and the necessary or desirable treatment options.