INTRODUCTION: A prospective survey to evaluate the diagnostic workup of cystic pancreatic neoplasms (CPNs) according to the Italian guidelines.METHODS: An online data sheet was built.RESULTS: Fifteen of the 1385 patients (1.1%) had non cystic neoplastic lesions. Forty percent (518/1295) had at least one 1st degree relative affected by a solid tumor of the digestive and extra-digestive organs. Symptoms/signs associated with the cystic lesion were present in 24.5% of the patients. The cysts were localized in the head of the pancreas in 38.5% of patients. Of the 2370 examinations (1.7 examinations per patient) which were carried out for the diagnosis, magnetic resonance imaging was performed as a single test in 48.4% of patients and in combination with endoscopic ultrasound in 27% of the cases. Of the 1370 patients having CPNs, 89.9% had an intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN) (70.1% a branch duct IPMN, 6.2% a mixed type IPMN and 4.6% a main duct IPMN), 12.7% had a serous cystadenoma, 2.8% a mucinous cystadenoma, 1.5% a non-functioning cystic neuroendocrine neoplasm, 0.7% a solid-pseudopapillary cystic neoplasm, 0.3% a cystic adenocarcinoma, and 1.2% an undetermined cystic neoplasm. Seventy-eight (5.7%) patients were operated upon after the initial work-up.CONCLUSIONS: This prospective study offers a reliable real-life picture of the diagnostic work-up CPN.