Send to

Choose Destination
Can J Anaesth. 2012 Jan;59(1):41-52. doi: 10.1007/s12630-011-9620-5. Epub 2011 Nov 1.

Glidescope® video-laryngoscopy versus direct laryngoscopy for endotracheal intubation: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Author information

Division of Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.



The Glidescope(®) video-laryngoscopy appears to provide better glottic visualization than direct laryngoscopy. However, it remains unclear if it translates into increased success with intubation.


We systematically searched electronic databases, conference abstracts, and article references. We included trials in humans comparing Glidescope(®) video-laryngoscopy to direct laryngoscopy regarding the glottic view, successful first-attempt intubation, and time to intubation. We generated pooled risk ratios or weighted mean differences across studies. Meta-regression was used to explore heterogeneity based on operator expertise and intubation difficulty.


We included 17 trials with a total of 1,998 patients. The pooled relative risk (RR) of grade 1 laryngoscopy (vs ≥ grade 2) for the Glidescope(®) was 2.0 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.5 to 2.5]. Significant heterogeneity was partially explained by intubation difficulty using meta-regression analysis (P = 0.003). The pooled RR for nondifficult intubations of grade 1 laryngoscopy (vs ≥ grade 2) was 1.5 (95% CI 1.2 to 1.9), and for difficult intubations it was 3.5 (95% CI 2.3 to 5.5). There was no difference between the Glidescope(®) and the direct laryngoscope regarding successful first-attempt intubation or time to intubation, although there was significant heterogeneity in both of these outcomes. In the two studies examining nonexperts, successful first-attempt intubation (RR 1.8, 95% CI 1.4 to 2.4) and time to intubation (weighted mean difference -43 sec, 95% CI -72 to -14 sec) were improved using the Glidescope(®). These benefits were not seen with experts.


Compared to direct laryngoscopy, Glidescope(®) video-laryngoscopy is associated with improved glottic visualization, particularly in patients with potential or simulated difficult airways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center