K-ras mutation in sputum was examined using mutant-allele-specific amplification method among 100 primary lung cancer and 15 non-oncological patients. K-ras mutation was detected in 11 out of 59 adenocarcinoma cases (18.6%), 5 out of 32 squamous cell carcinoma cases (15.6%), 2 out of 4 large cell carcinoma cases (50.0%) and 3 out of 15 non-oncological disease cases (20.0%). In the 18 cases of primary lung cancer K-ras mutation was examined in both sputum and the resected specimen of the primary lesion. In 5 cases K-ras mutation in sputum was detected without K-ras mutation in primary lesion. Therefore, these findings suggested that K-ras mutation in sputum may not be directly related to that of the primary lesion.