In this retrospective study we describe the immunohistochemical expression pattern of sLex epitopes in endothelial and epithelial cells of 59 squamous carcinomas of the tongue, and relate this to the relative survival rates of the patients. Endothelial sLex expression was significantly elevated in malignant lesions compared to normal tissues, but did not have any prognostic value for the relative survival rate. In contrast, epithelial sLex expression was decreased in carcinomas compared to normal tongue. The patients whose carcinoma showed only moderate epithelial HECA-452 reactivity had a significantly better relative survival rate than the patients with tumor specimens with neglible or very high HECA-452 reactivity. The epithelial staining with the two other anti-sLex antibodies (CSLEX-1 and 2F3) did not correlate with the survival rates of tongue carcinoma patients.