PURPOSE: To analyze bronchial carcinoid characteristics that might influence patterns of disease recurrence and overall survival in patients with these tumors. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a retrospective review, the actuarial rates of local relapse, regional relapse, and overall survival were determined in patients who had undergone resection of bronchial carcinoid tumors. The evaluable files for 87 patients (50 male, 37 female; age range, 15-82 years) who underwent resection of bronchial carcinoid cancer at the authors' institution between 1980 and 1993 were reviewed for pathologic findings, extent of disease, and recurrence patterns after surgery. RESULTS: The actuarial 4-year overall survival, local control, and regional control rates in the entire cohort of patients were 89%, 92%, and 94%, respectively. Univariate analyses revealed that an atypical histologic pattern was the only tumor-related factor that substantially affected local and regional control. Atypical histologic pattern and tumor size were among the multiple factors that independently affected overall survival. CONCLUSION: Atypical histologic findings in patients who had undergone complete resection of bronchial carcinoid tumors were associated with increased local-regional disease recurrence and decreased survival compared with recurrence and survival in patients with typical histologic findings.