The presence of human papillomavirus genomes-16 and -6b in metastatic cervical lymph nodes was examined in 34 cases of laryngeal carcinomas by means of polymerase chain reaction, which had been fixed in formalin and embedded in paraffin. Human papillomavirus DNAs extracted from paraffin-embedded tumor tissues were used for polymerase chain reaction with amplification of the E6 region of human papillomavirus genome-16 and the El region of human papillomavirus genome-6b. Human papillomavirus genome-16 sequences were positively amplified in six (17.6%) metastatic tumors; -6b sequence was positively amplified in one (2.9%) metastatic tumor. Laryngeal carcinomas of glottic origin showed high human papillomavirus genome-16 DNA-positive rates (4 of 9 cases, 44.4%) compared to those of other sites. These results suggest that human papillomavirus genome-16 infection might be closely associated with the development of some laryngeal squamous cell carcinomas of glottic origin similar to uterine cervical carcino-genesis.