Head and neck cancer accounts for approximately 5 % of all cancers, which makes it the sixth most common form of cancerin terms of its frequency of occurence. In Slovenia approximately 450 people are diagnosed with this cancer every year. The most common head and neck cancer site of metastasis are lymph nodes in the neck, which account for 40 % of all human lymph nodes. For examination of suspiciously altered lymph nodes ultrasound is the first radiological method used due to its accessibility and because the patients are not exposed to ionizing radiation. Computed tomography represents the gold standard for diagnosing and helps us to recognize malignant lymph nodes with high sensitivity and specificity depending on the specific radiological criteria such as size and shape of the lymph nodes, presence of intranodal necrosis and extracapsular spreading. Nowadays other radiological methods such as magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography combined with computed tomography are gaining in value. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of radiological methods and to show the radiological features used for diagnosing altered neck lymph nodes.