Objectives: To evaluate the impact of retrograde pyelography (RPG) in patients treated with ureteroscopy (URS) for ureteral calculi. Methods: Retrospective analysis of patients treated with and without RPG prior to URS at a single institution from 2010 to 2013. Assessment of stone-free rates and intraoperative complications. Results: Out of 469 URS, 211 (45%) were done with and 258 (55%) without RPG. Complete stone removal was achieved in 86.8% without RPG compared to 73% with RPG (p = 0.0001). Partial stone removal rates were similar in both groups (p = 0.77). Stone removal was not achieved in 9.3 vs. 22.7% (p = 0.0001), with concordant findings in the distal (7.4 vs. 16.9%, p = 0.007) and the proximal ureter (14.5 vs. 38.6%, p = 0.002). Patients with RPG had a threefold higher chance of an unsuccessful URS (OR 3.05, 1.71-5.43, p < 0.0001) and were less likely of having a complete stone removal (OR 0.37, 0.22-0.61, p < 0.0001). Ureteral avulsions (0%) and ureteral perforation rates were similar (4.7 vs. 3.8%, p = 0.65). Conclusions: Patients treated with an RPG prior to URS had significantly inferior stone-free rates. RPG was identified as an independent risk factor for inferior results. RPG neither facilitates nor diminishes complication rates during URS.

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