An analysis of the primary tumour histopathology was performed on 103 patients managed by orchidectomy and surveillance for stage I seminoma. Patients have been followed for 14-141 months (median 62 months) after orchidectomy. Seventeen patients relapsed, the probability of remaining relapse free at 5 years being 82% (95% confidence intervals, 74%-88%). No patients died of progressive germ cell tumours. The only significant histological factor predicting relapse was the presence of lymphatic and vascular invasion. Four of 42 patients with neither lymphatic or vascular invasion recurred, nine of 53 patients with either lymphatic or vascular invasion recurred and three of eight cases with both lymphatic and vascular invasion recurred (P = 0.05-trend). Though initial recurrence was usually of moderate volume and confined to para-aortic nodes, eight patients were treated with chemotherapy either because of the extent of their initial relapse (four cases), or because of subsequent relapse (four cases). In view of the difficulties of identifying patients at risk and of detecting early relapse, surveillance for stage I seminoma should remain a research protocol.