Due to the widespread use of cross-sectional imaging and advances in imaging technology, pancreatic cystic lesions are increasingly being detected. The diagnosis and management of such cysts remains challenging and continues to evolve. Different pancreatic cyst types have varying malignant potential. Thus, accurate cyst characterization is essential to appropriate management; the most clinically important distinction is differentiating mucinous lesions, which have malignant potential and may benefit from surgical resection, from non-mucinous cystic lesions. Endoscopic ultrasound with fine needle aspiration with cytologic, chemical,, and tumor marker analysis appears to be the best currently available method for accurately characterizing a cyst's malignant potential, and therefore impacts the most important management decision for a pancreatic cyst-continued surveillance or surgical resection.