Biopsy specimens from Alaskan Native patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and from other patients seen on the otolaryngology service were tested for Epstein-Barr virus-specific DNA and nuclear antigen (EBNA). Serum samples from both groups were tested for various EBV-related antibodies. EBV DNA and EBNA results were in agreement in 29 of 31 tissue specimens tested by the two methods. Ten of 11 biopsies containing NPC cells were positive for EBV DNA. Two NPC patients had biopsies that showed only atypical epithelium but were also positive for EBV DNA or EBNA. The other tissue specimens were negative except for biopsies from two patients: one with a parotid gland lymphoepithelial lesion; another with undifferentiated carcinoma of salivary gland origin.