High-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) is now accepted as the most likely preinvasive stage of adenocarcinoma, almost two decades after its first formal description. PIN has a high predictive value as a marker for adenocarcinoma, and its identification warrants repeat biopsy for concurrent or subsequent invasive carcinoma. The only method of detection is biopsy; PIN does not significantly elevate serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) concentration or its derivatives and cannot be detected by current imaging techniques, including ultrasound. Most patients with PIN will develop carcinoma within 10 years. PIN is associated with progressive abnormalities of phenotype and genotype, which are similar to cancer rather than normal prostatic epithelium, indicating impairment of cell differentiation with advancing stages of prostatic carcinogenesis. Androgen deprivation therapy decreases the prevalence and extent of PIN, suggesting that this form of treatment may play a role in chemoprevention.