To elucidate the reliability of CT in the assessment of bronchiectasis, a retrospective study of high resolution CT and bronchography was carried out. A segment by segment comparison of 259 segmental bronchi from 70 lobes of 27 lungs in 19 patients was performed using bronchography as standard. CT was positive in 87 of 89 segmental bronchi with bronchiectasis giving a false-negative rate of 2%. CT was negative in 169 of 170 segmental bronchi without bronchiectasis at bronchography, giving a false-positive rate of 1%. There was agreement between the two modalities in identifying the different types of bronchiectasis.