Aims and background: To delineate the lymphatic drainage in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) patients by lymphoscintigraphy and to investigate whether the results of histopathological evaluation of sentinel nodes have any diagnostic relevance with regard to the metastatic involvement of all cervical lymph nodes. Methods: Forty-one patients clinically pre-diagnosed as having primary head and neck SCC underwent Tc-99m nanocolloid lymphoscintigraphy and were evaluated according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering cervical lymph nodes level system. Treatment of 24 of these patients included neck dissection in addition to surgery for the primary tumor. Results: Among the 24 operated patients nine were found to be pathologically N+. In two (22%) of these nine patients there were histopathological metastases in non-sentinel lymph nodes. In one patient with a metastatic lymph node, no sentinel nodes were identified. Altogether, lymphoscintigraphic sentinel node detection failed in three (33%) cases. Conclusion: The procedure of lymphoscintigraphic imaging of sentinel lymph nodes and its use in the determination of squamous cell carcinoma metastases is theoretically promising. However, in order to assess the true value of sentinel lymph node imaging and make treatment plans based on this technique, it's necessary to increase the number of cases included in the studies, and obtain results that are specific for the primary tumor and involved lymph nodes.