Mediastinal pheochromocytomas account for only a small fraction of mediastinal tumors. Most commonly, these tumors are located in posterior mediastinum. Increasing number of cases of pheochromocytomas is being reported from middle mediastinum. Excision of mediastinal paraganglioma is often hazardous because of its rich blood supply and tendency to involve surrounding structures. It can be a big challenge to manage asymptomatic cases of pheochromocytoma intraoperatively. It is imperative that these patients receive adequate alpha adrenergic and if necessary beta adrenergic blockade. Adequate preoperative preparation with alpha and beta blockers may not prevent serious intraoperative hypertension. We report a case of posterior mediastinal pheochromocytoma which was biochemically active preoperatively. We review the presentation, diagnosis and management of intrathoracic pheochromocytomas including cardiac pheochromocytomas. © 2008 Springer-Verlag.