Direct current (DC) shock is probably the most effective method to terminate various supraventricular as well as ventricular tachyarrhythmias except those induced by digitalis. DC shock is often a life-saving measure in terminating ventricular tachycardia, flutter, and fibrillation. On the other hand, DC shock is not only ineffective in terminating digitalis-induced tachyarrhythmias, but it can also induce new cardiac arrhythmias, particularly ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation, and have a fatal outcome. The indications for DC shock can be divided into 2 major categories; namely, the treatment of acute tachyarrhythmias and elective cardioversion for chronic atrial fibrillation and flutter. About 90% of cases of atrial fibrillation are successfully converted to sinus rhythm, whereas 95–97% of cases of ventricular tachycardia can be terminated by DC shock. DC shock is most effective in terminating atrial flutter with relatively small energy discharges.