This work is a review of the use of hysteresis to quantify sediment discharge dynamics. We reviewed 71 journal articles from the year 1953 to the present day focusing on two topics: the factors that influence hysteresis; and hysteresis quantification. The main factors influencing hysteresis are: (a) magnitude and sequence of events; (b) sediment particle size distribution; (c) basin size; and (d) land use and sediment source. Hysteresis quantification can be done using several different methods that can be grouped as: (a) hysteresis indexes; (b) statistical analysis; and (c) uncertainty analysis. Most studies were conducted in Western Europe and the USA. The studies, in general, show how the factors listed above influence the shape and patterns of hysteresis. However, the sediment dynamics are complex, and the hysteresis patterns may be linked to many other factors, such as slope and drainage systems. The quantification of hysteresis still appears, mainly with the hysteresis index and statistical analysis. Therefore, there are still many many other factors that influence hysteresis patterns, as well as hysteresis rates and uncertainty analyses.