The development of pulmonary edema is divided in cardiogenic and non-cardiogenic. Cardiogenic edema pathogenically is caused by elevated hydrostatic pressure in the pulmonary capillaries due to left sided congestive heart failure. Non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema is categorized depending on the underlying pathogenesis in low-alveolar pressure, elevated permeability or neurogenic edema. Some important examples of causes are upper airway obstruction like in laryngeal paralysis or strangulation for low alveolar pressure, leptospirosis and ARDS for elevated permeability, and epilepsy, brain trauma and electrocution for neurogenic edema. The differentiation between cardiogenic versus non-cardiogenic genesis is not always straightforward, but most relevant, because treatment markedly differs between the two. Of further importance is the identification of the specific underlying cause in non-cardiogenic edema, not only for therapeutic but particularly for prognostic reasons. Depending on the cause the prognosis ranges from very poor to good chance of complete recovery.