• high-risk human papillomavirus;
  • head and neck squamous cell carcinoma;
  • immunohistochemistry


To analyse the association between high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) and other risk factors in the aetiology of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) in an Asian population.

Study Design

This study is a cross-sectional analysis of 80 patients who were diagnosed with HNSCC. Patients' demographics, dietary habit, medical and social history were obtained. Surgical specimens from these patients were then histologically analysed using H&E stain and immunohistochemistry (IHC) for the presence of HR-HPV primary antibody.


High-risk human papillomavirus was detected in 41 patients, representing 51.3% of the 80 paraffin-embedded tissues of HNSCC; 27.5% of these were weak positive, 10.0% medium positive and 13.8% were strongly positive for the HR-HPV on IHC. The tongue lesions had the highest HR-HPV infection of 72.2%. No association existed between HR-HPV and patient's demographics, dietary habit and other predisposing factors.


The place of HR-HPV as a possible aetiological factor for HNSCC has further been established from this study.