HPV detection in fine needle aspirates from suspected head and neck metastasis may be useful in clinching the diagnosis of HPV related oral squamous cell carcinoma. Ascertaining the HPV status of a particular tumor on cytological specimens could be useful for prognostication as HPV-related tumors appear to have a better prognosis and clinical outcome. The various techniques of detection are reviewed. Diagn. Cytopathol. 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.