PURPOSE The purpose of this study was to evaluate the presence of bronchiectasis in coal workers with or without coal worker pneumoconiosis (CWP) and to assess the extent of bronchiectasis, severity of bronchial wall dilatation and thickening by high resolution computed tomography (HRCT). MATERIALS AND METHODS The retrospective study consisted of HRCT archieves of 93 coal workers. The coal workers with previous diagnosis of COPD (six), asthma (one) and tuberculosis (three) were excluded. Five coal workers with progressive massive fibrosis were not included into the study. The resulting patient group consisted of 78 patients (43 CWP; 35 non-CWP). Pneumoconiosis profusions of CWP workers were between p0/1 and p2/2 according to ILO 1980 chest X-ray classification. HRCT examinations of all subjects were evaluated for the presence, extent, dilatation and thickness of bronchiectasis. Analysis of extent, dilatation and thickness were performed according to established criteria. RESULTS The diagnosis of bronchiectasis was put on 19 of 43 CWP (44.1%) and 7 of 35 non-CWP workers (20.0%). There were statistically significant differences between bronchiectasis positive and negative coal workers with CWP concerning age and exposure duration (P = 0.012 and 0.009, respectively). Then, multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to define exact risk factors. Exposure duration was only found to be related with presence of bronchiectasis [(odds ratio) OR = 1.494, 95% confidence interval 1.168-1.912]. CONCLUSIONS The data from the present study shows that bronchiectasis is frequent and severe in CWP workers than without. Bronchiectasis is influenced by coal dust exposure. Thus, coal dust protection measures must be controlled efficiently to prevent bronchiectasis in coal workers.