A group of bronchiectatic subjects in the clinically stable state were studied for systemic evidence of inflammation. The following parameters were evaluated: body weight, serum albumin, serum globulin, serum alpha 1-antitrypsin (alpha 1 AT) and peripheral white cell count. For serum albumin and globulin, comparison was made between subjects with bronchiectasis and control subjects with no known pulmonary disease matched for sex and age, and for serum alpha 1 AT and peripheral white cell count, matched for smoking habit as well. The bronchiectatic subjects showed systemic effects of inflammation as indicated by lower body weight and serum albumin (P less than 0.01), higher serum globulin (P less than 0.001), serum alpha 1 AT (P less than 0.05) and total leucocyte count (P less than 0.05). Differential white cell count showed that the elevation was distributed in most cell types. Correlation matrix was done for the above systemic parameters and indices of airway inflammation including sputum volume, purulence, and polymorph count and FEV1. There was an inverse correlation between total peripheral WBC count and FEV1 in percentage of predicted (P less than 0.01), and a positive correlation between sputum purulence and sputum polymorph score (P less than 0.05). This suggests that host peripheral leucocyte response may be a factor in the determination of lung function.