High-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) is considered the most likely precursor of invasive prostatic adenocarcinoma, and is characterized by cellular proliferations within preexisting ducts and glands with cytological changes mimicking cancer. The extent and multicentricity of this clinically important histopathologic lesion have not been fully defined. We sought to determine whether the extent and zonal distribution of PIN are related to prostate cancer. A total of 195 whole-mounted radical prostatectomy specimens were evaluated. All patients had clinically localized cancer, and none had received preoperative therapy. The zonal location and multicentricity of PIN were recorded, and the volume of PIN was measured using a grid-counting method according to pattern (tufting, micropapillary, cribriform, and flat) and spatial proximity to cancer (less than or equal to 2 mm from cancer, and greater than 2 mm from cancer). The results were correlated with patient age, prostate volume, cancer volume, pathological stage, and Gleason grade. High-grade PIN was identified in 86% of cases, usually with multiple architectural patterns of PIN in each positive case: tufting (97% of cases), micropapillary (66% of cases), cribriform (19% of cases), and flat (21% of cases). The mean volume of PIN was 1.32 cm3 (standard error [SE], 0.10; range, 0 to 8.12 cm3), and was greater for PIN within 2 mm of cancer (mean, 1.0 cm3) than for PIN more than 2 mm from cancer (mean, 0.3 cm3). PIN was usually multicentric (64.5% of cases) and located in the nontransition zone (63%) or all zones (36%) of the prostate. There was a positive correlation of total volume of PIN and volume of cancer, but this correlation was significant only for PIN within 2 mm of cancer. The volume of PIN was positively correlated with age, pathological stage, and Gleason score; most of these positive correlations were caused by PIN within 2 mm of cancer rather than that greater than 2 mm from cancer. Our results indicate that the extent and zonal distribution of high-grade PIN and carcinoma are strongly associated, and that PIN is frequently multicentric. This supports the hypothesis that PIN is a premalignant lesion.