The optimal delay time after intravenous (i.v.) administration of contrast medium (CM) for opacifcation of the upper urinary tract (UUT) for multidetector computed tomography urography (MDCTU) was investigated. UUT opacification was retrospectively evaluated in 36 four-row MDCTU examinations. Single- (n=10) or dual-phase (n=26) MDCTU was performed with at least 5-min delay after i.v. CM. UUT was divided into four sections: intrarenal collecting system (IRCS), proximal, middle and distal ureter. Two independent readers rated UUT opacification: 1, none; 2, partial; 3, complete. Numbers and percentages of scores, and the 5%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 95% percentiles of delay time were calculated for each UUT section. After removing diseased segments, 344 segments were analysed. IRCS, proximal and middle ureter were completely opacified in 94% (81/86), 93% (80/86) and 77% (66/86) of cases, respectively. Median delay time was 15 min for complete opacification. The distal ureter was completely opacified in 37% (32/86) of cases and not opacified in 26% (22/86). Median delay time for complete opacification was 11 min with 25% and 75% percentiles of 10 and 16 min, respectively. At MDCTU, opacification of the IRCS, proximal and middle ureter was hardly sensitive to delay time. Delay times between 10 and 16 min were favourable in the distal ureter.