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01.12.2014 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

BMC Anesthesiology 1/2014

GlideScope Use improves intubation success rates: an observational study using propensity score matching

BMC Anesthesiology > Ausgabe 1/2014
James W Ibinson, Catalin S Ezaru, Daniel S Cormican, Michael P Mangione
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1471-2253-14-101) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

JWI has seen the original study data, reviewed the analysis of the data, and approved the final manuscript. CSE has seen the original study data, approved the final manuscript, and is the author responsible for archiving the study files. DSC has seen the original study data, reviewed the analysis of the data, and approved the final manuscript. MPM reviewed the analysis of the data and approved the final manuscript.



Rigid video laryngoscopes are popular alternatives to direct laryngoscopy for intubation, but further large scale prospective studies comparing these devices to direct laryngoscopy in routine anesthesiology practice are needed. We hypothesized that the first pass success rate with one particular video laryngoscope, the GlideScope, would be higher than the success rate with direct laryngoscopy.


3831 total intubation attempts were tracked in an observational study comparing first-pass success rate using a Macintosh or Miller-style laryngoscope with the GlideScope. Propensity scoring was then used to select 626 subjects matched between the two groups based on their morphologic traits.


Comparing the GlideScope and direct laryngoscopy groups suggested that intubation would be more difficult in the GlideScope group based on the Mallampati class, cervical range of motion, mouth opening, dentition, weight, and past intubation history. Thus, a propensity score based on these factors was used to balance the groups into two 313 patient cohorts. Direct laryngoscopy was successful in 80.8% on the first-pass intubation attempt, while the GlideScope was successful in 93.6% (p <0.001; risk difference of 0.128 with a 95% CI of 0.0771 – 0.181).


A greater first-attempt success rate was found when using the GlideScope versus direct laryngoscopy. In addition, the GlideScope was found to be 99% successful for intubation after initial failure of direct laryngoscopy, helping to reduce the incidence of failed intubation.
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