Introduction: A proposed benefit of dual-chamber arrhythmia discrimination is a reduction in inappropriate therapy in implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs). The aim of this meta-analysis was to establish whether dual-chamber arrhythmia discrimination algorithms reduce inappropriate device therapy. Methods and results: Public domain databases, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials, were searched from 1996 to 2006. Two investigators abstracted data independently. Pooled estimates were calculated using both fixed-effects and random-effects models. We retrieved 5 prospective studies comparing dual-chamber with single-chamber arrhythmia discrimination, accumulating data on 748 patients. Pooled per-patient based analysis demonstrated that the number of patients receiving inappropriate ICD therapy was not different between single- and dual-chamber devices (odds ratio [OR] 1.23; 95% CI, 0.83 to 1.81; p=0.31). Per-episode based analysis demonstrated a favoring benefit for dual-chamber arrhythmia discrimination (ORO.64; 95% CI, 0.52 to 0.78; p < 0.001). A mean reduction of 1.1 inappropriately treated atrial episodes per patient was observed with dual-chamber arrhythmia discrimination (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Dual-chamber arrhythmia discrimination is associated with a reduction in the number of inappropriate treated episodes. The number of patients who experience inappropriate therapy is not reduced by dual-chamber discrimination. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.