Summary. Background: Different rates of inhibitor development after either plasma-derived (pdFVIII) or recombinant (rFVIII) FVIII have been suggested. However, conflicting results are reported in the literature. Objectives: To systematically review the incidence rates of inhibitor development in previously untreated patients (PUPs) with hemophilia A treated with either pdFVIII or rFVIII and to explore the influence of both study and patient characteristics. Methods: Summary incidence rates (95% confidence interval) from all included studies for both pdFVIII and rFVIII results were recalculated and pooled. Sensitivity analysis was used to investigate the effect of study design, severity of disease and inhibitor characteristics. Meta-regression and analysis-of-variance were used to investigate the effect of covariates (testing frequency, follow-up duration and intensity of treatment). Results: Two thousand and ninety-four patients (1167 treated with pdFVIII, 927 with rFVIII; median age, 9.6 months) from 24 studies were investigated and 420 patients were observed to develop inhibitors. Pooled incidence rate was 14.3% (10.4–19.4) for pdFVIII and 27.4% (23.6–31.5) for rFVIII; high responding inhibitor incidence rate was 9.3% (6.2–13.7) for pdFVIII and 17.4% (14.2–21.2) for rFVIII. In the multi-way anova study design, study period, testing frequency and median follow-up explained most of the variability, while the source of concentrate lost statistical significance. It was not possible to analyse the effect of intensity of treatment or trigger events such as surgery, and to completely exclude multiple reports of the same patient or changes of concentrate. Conclusions: These findings underscore the need for randomized controlled trials to address whether or not the risk of inhibitor in PUPs with hemophilia A differs between rFVIII and pdFVIII.