Fourty-six bronchial carcinoids, twelve tumourlets and twenty areas of neuroendocrine cell dysplasia (NED) were immunohistochemically evaluated for various neuroendocrine markers, S-l 00 protein (S-100), myelin basic protein, intermediate filaments, actin, Leu-7 and several neurohormonal polypeptides. Eighteen of the bronchial carcinoids (39.1%) showed a biphasic cell pattern, with abundant stellate-shaped S-l00 positive cells (SC). SC were not reactive for chromogranin A, myelin basic protein, cytokeratins, neurofilaments, glial fibrillary acidic protein or actin, and were only occasionally weakly positive for vimentin. SC were not detected in the tumourlets nor in the NED observed. For comparison a group of other neuroendocrine tumours (11 gastrointestinal carcinoids, 4 pheochromocytomas and 4 paragangliomas) were immunostained for S-l00, chromogranin A and actin. SC similar to the ones detected in the bronchial carcinoids could be detected in appendiceal carcinoids, paragangliomas and in two out of four pheochromocytomas. Our present data are in keeping with a Schwannian/sustentacular nature of SC rather than that of a histiocytic or myoepithelial nature. We suggest that SC-rich bronchial carcinoids are biphasic tumours, which could be designed “paraganglioid” bronchial carcinoids. The relationship between SC-rich bronchial carcinoids and tumourlets/NED is a matter of further investigation: SC-rich bronchial carcinoids may either differentiate in a biphasic pattern during tumoural growth or may not be histogenetically related to tumourlets. © 1990, Gustav Fischer Verlag · Stuttgart · New York. All rights reserved.