Knowledge of the status of the pelvic lymph nodes is vital for accurate staging and adequate treatment of patients with urologic cancer. Noninvasive techniques for assessing the lymphatic spread of urologic neoplasms have proved to be of limited value. Bipedal lymphangiography and percutaneous fine needle aspiration cytology under fluoroscopic guidance were performed for staging purposes in 71 patients with clinically localized bladder, prostatic and penile cancer from 257 nodal chains. The overall diagnostic accuracy was 93% and the correct aspiration of 186 lymph nodes was surgically confirmed. There were 11 (6%) false-negative biopsy results and no false-positive diagnoses. Aspiration cytology is a safe, well tolerated, accurate, and rapid method of determining the presence of metastatic disease in lymphangiographically visualized pelvic nodes. In the management of prostatic carcinoma, positive cytologic results are diagnostic of nodal metastatic involvement and spare the patients unnecessary surgical staging. Negative cytologic findings may be considered diagnostic of localized disease in the patients with well differentiated prostatic carcinoma (2-4 Gleason's sum). Since most surgeons are reluctant to perform a staging lymphadenectomy in the management of invasive bladder carcinoma, aspiration cytology can provide accurate staging, thus permitting an appropriate treatment plan. In patients with carcinoma of the penis, a positive aspirate permits an early and even curative lymphadenectomy in cases with clinically negative but pathologically positive nodes.