OBJECT The role of postoperative radiation therapy after surgery for atypical meningiomas remains controversial. In this retrospective cohort study, the authors examine the recurrence rates for atypical meningiomas after resection (with or without adjuvant radiotherapy) and identify which factors were associated with recurrence. METHODS Of 90 patients with atypical meningiomas who underwent surgery between 1999 and 2009, 71 (79%) underwent gross-total resection (GTR) and 19 (21%) underwent subtotal resection (STR); 31 patients received adjuvant radiotherapy. All tumors were pathology-confirmed WHO Grade II atypical meningiomas. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify factors associated with recurrence-free survival. RESULTS Among 90 patients, 17 developed tumor recurrence (81% recurrence-free survival at 5 years). In the overall group, adjuvant radiotherapy reduced the recurrence rate to 9% from 19% at 5 years (p = 0.048). After STR, adjuvant radiotherapy significantly reduced recurrence from 91% to 20% (p = 0.0016). However, after GTR, adjuvant radiotherapy did not significantly reduce the recurrence rate (16.7% without radiation therapy vs 11.8% with radiation therapy) (p = 1.00). Five factors independently predictive of tumor recurrence included mitotic index, sheeting, necrosis, nonuse of radiation therapy, and STR. Further recursive partitioning analysis showed significant increases in risk for patients older than 55 years with mitoses and sheeting. CONCLUSIONS Adjuvant radiotherapy was effective at lowering recurrence rates in patients after STR but delivered no significant improvement in patients after GTR. Given that rates after GTR were similar with or without adjuvant radiotherapy, close observation without postoperative radiation therapy may be a viable option for these patients. Patients older than 55 years and those with mitoses noted during pathological examination had a significant risk of recurrence after GTR; for these patients, postoperative radiotherapy is recommended.