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Background and Objectives:Cervical lymph node metastasis in head and neck cancer patients is one of the most important prognostic factors. The previous studies have shown that the detection of ocult micrometastases using imunohistochemical missed occult micrometastases on routine hematoxylin-eosin stain. Materials and Method:Sixty-nine tumors from the pa-tients with squamous cel carcinoma of the head and neck were included. Imunohisto-chemical staining was performed using Pan-cytokeratin AE1/AE3 antibody. The number of lymph nodes examined was 1710 (mean per patient:24.8;ra-nge:one to 66). Results:Of 69 tumors studied, 14 lymph nodes had occult metastases detected by the imunohistochemical hematoxylin-eosin stain. Hematoxylin-eosin stain was not sufficient to detect occult micrometastases in 10. Conclusion:Because im uno-histochemical method enhanced the detection rate of occult micrometastases in cervical lymph nodes of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients, it is recomended for routine diagnostic use in every patient, in whom the lymph nodes show negative for metastasis on routine hematoxylin-eosin stain. (Korean J Otolaryngol 2002;45:495-50 )