Predictors of difficult videolaryngoscopy with GlideScope® or C-MAC® with D-blade: Secondary analysis from a large comparative videolaryngoscopy trial

M. F. Aziz, E. O. Bayman, M. M. Van Tienderen, M. M. Todd, A. M. Brambrink, T. Asai, Ron O. Abrons, Davide Cattano, David E. Swanson, Carin A. Hagberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background Tracheal intubation using acute-angle videolaryngoscopy achieves high success rates, but is not without difficulty. We aimed to determine predictors of 'difficult videolaryngoscopy'. Methods We performed a secondary analysis of a data set (n=1100) gathered from a multicentre prospective randomized controlled trial of patients for whom difficult direct laryngoscopy was anticipated and who were intubated with one of two videolaryngoscopy devices (GlideScope® or C-MAC® with D-blade). 'Difficult videolaryngoscopy' was defined as 'first intubation time >60 s' or 'first attempt intubation failure'. A multivariate logistic regression model along with stepwise model selection techniques was performed to determine independent predictors of difficult videolaryngoscopy. Results Of 1100 patients, 301 were identified as difficult videolaryngoscopies. By univariate analysis, head and neck position, provider, type of surgery, and mouth opening were associated with difficult videolaryngoscopy (P<0.05). According to the multivariate logistic regression model, characteristics associated with greater risk for difficult videolaryngoscopy were as follows: (i) head and neck position of 'supine sniffing' vs 'supine neutral' {odds ratio (OR) 1.63, 95% confidence interval (CI) [1.14, 2.31]}; (ii) undergoing otolaryngologic or cardiac surgery vs general surgery (OR 1.89, 95% CI [1.19, 3.01] and OR 6.13, 95% CI [1.85, 20.37], respectively); (iii) intubation performed by an attending anaesthestist vs a supervised resident (OR 1.83, 95% CI [1.14, 2.92]); and (iv) small mouth opening (OR 1.18, 95% CI [1.02, 1.36]). Conclusion This secondary analysis of an existing data set indicates four covariates associated with difficult acute-angle videolaryngoscopy, of which patient position and provider level are modifiable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-123
Number of pages6
JournalBritish journal of anaesthesia
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Airway management
  • Intratracheal
  • Intubation
  • Laryngoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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