Two putative premalignant lesions of the prostate have been identified. Prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) is characterized by proliferation and anaplasia of cells lining ducts and acini. Atypical adenomatous hyperplasia (AAH) consists of a localized proliferation of small round glands without cytologic atypia. PIN and AAH may be confused with well-differentiated carcinoma as well as florid hyperplasia, basal cell hyperplasia, transitional metaplasia, seminal vesicular epithelium, and atypia due to inflammation, infarction, and radiation. These premalignant lesions appear to have a high predictive value for carcinoma, and their presence on prostatic biopsy warrants further search for concurrent invasive adenocarcinoma. The use of strict morphologic criteria and uniform nomenclature will ensure standardization in the diagnosis of premalignant lesions of the prostate.