OBJECTIVES To report the decline of renal function after radical nephroureterectomy (RNU) in upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC) patients and to develop a nomogram to predict ineligibility for cisplatin-based adjuvant chemotherapy (AC). METHODS We retrospectively analyzed 606 consecutive Chinese UTUC patients treated by RNU from 2000 to 2010. We chose an eGFR of 60 and 45 ml/min/1.73 m(2) as cut-offs for full-dose and reduced-dose AC eligibility. RESULTS Median eGFR for all patients before and after surgery was 64 and 49 ml/min/1.73 m(2) (P < 0.001). The proportion of patients ineligible to receive full-dose and reduced-dose AC changed from 42% to 74% and from 20% to 38.1%. Older age (OR = 1.007), preoperative eGFR (OR = 0.993), absence of hydronephrosis (OR = 0.801), smaller tumor size (OR = 0.962), and tumor without multifocality (OR = 0.876) were predictive for ineligibility for full-dose AC. Preoperative eGFR (OR = 0.991), absence of hydronephrosis (OR = 0.881), tumor located in renal pelvis (OR = 1.164), and smaller tumor size (OR = 0.969) could predict ineligibility for reduced-dose AC. The c-index of the two models was 0.757 and 0.836. Postoperative renal function was not associated with worse survival. CONCLUSIONS Older age, lower preoperative eGFR, smaller tumor size, tumor located in renal pelvis, and absence of hydronephrosis or multifocality were predictors of postoperative renal insufficiency.