Send to

Choose Destination
Anaesthesia. 2017 Dec;72(12):1532-1541. doi: 10.1111/anae.14057. Epub 2017 Sep 22.

Videolaryngoscopy vs. direct laryngoscopy use by experienced anaesthetists in patients with known difficult airways: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Author information

Department of Anaesthesia, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Department of Anesthesia, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld, Australia.


Experienced anaesthetists can be confronted with difficult or failed tracheal intubations. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to ascertain if the literature indicated if videolaryngoscopy conferred an advantage when used by experienced anaesthetists managing patients with a known difficult airway. We searched PubMed, MEDLINE, Embase and the Cochrane central register of controlled trials up to 1 January 2017. Outcome parameters extracted from studies were: first-attempt success of tracheal intubation; time to successful intubation; number of intubation attempts; Cormack and Lehane grade; use of airway adjuncts (e.g. stylet, gum elastic bougie); and complications (e.g. mucosal and dental trauma). Nine studies, including 1329 patients, fulfilled the inclusion criteria. First-attempt success was greater for all videolaryngoscopes (OR 0.34 (95%CI 0.18-0.66); p = 0.001). Use of videolaryngoscopy was associated with a significantly better view of the glottis (Cormack and Lehane grades 1 and 2 vs. 3-4, OR 0.04 (95%CI 0.01-0.15); p < 0.00001). Mucosal trauma occurred less with the use of videolaryngoscopy (OR 0.16 (95%CI 0.04-0.75); p = 0.02). Videolaryngoscopy has added value for the experienced anaesthetist, improving first-time success, the view of the glottis and reducing mucosal trauma.


airway management; equipment; intubation; videolaryngoscope

Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center