Intraductal carcinoma of the prostate is a marker of aggressive disease. However, intraductal carcinoma exists on a morphologic continuum with high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) and distinguishing intraductal carcinoma from PIN is a common diagnostic dilemma with significant clinical implications. We evaluated whether immunostains for PTEN and ERG can sensitively identify intraductal carcinoma and accurately distinguish it from high-grade PIN. A combined immunostain for PTEN, ERG, p63 and CK903 was developed and validated. Radical prostatectomy specimens with lesions meeting criteria for intraductal carcinoma (n=45), intraductal cribriform proliferations falling short of intraductal carcinoma (n=15), and PIN lesions (n=39) were retrospectively identified and assessed for PTEN and ERG. Cytoplasmic PTEN loss was identified in 84% (38/45) of the intraductal carcinoma and 100% (15/15) of intraductal cribriform proliferation cases. In contrast, cytoplasmic PTEN loss was never observed in PIN (0/39; P<0.0001). Of the 53 cases of intraductal carcinoma or intraductal cribriform proliferation with cytoplasmic PTEN loss, it was homogeneously lost in 42 cases (79%). Weak, focal nuclear positivity for PTEN was retained in 31 of these 42 cases (74%). ERG expression was identified in 58% (26/45) of intraductal carcinoma and 67% (10/15) of intraductal cribriform proliferations compared with 13% (5/39) of PIN. Concordance between the PTEN/ERG status of the intraductal carcinoma lesions and the concurrent invasive carcinoma was high (>95% and P<0.0001 for each), and substantially less for PIN and the concurrent invasive tumor (83% for PTEN and 67% for ERG; P=NS for each). Cytoplasmic PTEN loss occurs in the majority of intraductal carcinoma and intraductal cribriform proliferation cases. Cytoplasmic PTEN loss was never observed in PIN (100% specificity). Our study identifies PTEN loss as a potentially useful marker to distinguish intraductal carcinoma from PIN and provides a plausible molecular explanation for why intraductal carcinoma is associated with poor prognosis.