PURPOSE To assess image quality of chest CT with an 80 to 90 percent dose reduction in follow-up studies of patients with lung disease, dose and image quality of a low-dose protocol was investigated. MATERIALS AND METHODS A follow-up low-dose CT (ND-CT, 120 kV, 10 mAs/slice, 3 mm slice thickness) was performed on 35 patients with non-malignant lung disease and compared with the initial standard dose CT (= SD-CT, 100 mAs/slice, 3 or 5 mm slice thickness). The dose was measured by thermo-luminescence in an Alderson phantom. Image quality was assessed by four independent radiologists in six perihilar, central and peripheral lung regions using a 4-point-scale ("very good", "good", "moderate", and "poor"). RESULTS Effective dose was 0.5 mSv for ND-CT and 4.0 - 5.0 mSv for SD-CT. The ratings "very good"/"good" were given in the perihilar regions in ND-CT 97.5 % versus SD-CT 99.3 % (n. s.), in the central regions in ND-CT 96.4 % versus SD-CT 94.6 % (n. s.), and in the peripheral regions in ND-CT 70.0 % versus SD-CT 88.2 % (p < 0.01). CONCLUSION Follow-up CT of pulmonary structures in patients with chronic lung disease can be performed with substantial dose reduction. A decrease of image quality may result in peripheral lung regions.