Study objective: The C-MAC laryngoscope (C-MAC) is a videolaryngoscope that uses a modified Macintosh blade. Although several anecdotal reports exist, it remains unclear whether the C-MAC is superior to the Macintosh laryngoscope for tracheal intubation in the adult population. Design: Systematic review, meta-analysis. Setting: Operating room, intensive care unit. Measurements: For inclusion in our analysis, studies had to be prospective randomised trials which compared the C-MAC with the Macintosh laryngoscope for tracheal intubation in the adult population. Data on success rates, intubation time, glottic visualisation and incidence of external laryngeal manipulations (ELM) during tracheal intubation were extracted from the identified studies. In subgroup analysis, we separated those parameters to assess the influence of the airway condition (normal or difficult) and laryngoscopists (novice or experienced). We conducted a trial sequential analysis (TSA). Main results: Sixteen articles with 18 trials met the inclusion criteria. The C-MAC provided better glottic visualisation compared to the Macintosh (RR, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.03–1.14). TSA corrected the CI to 1.01–1.19; thus, total sample size reached the required information size (RIS). Success rates and intubation time did not differ significantly between the laryngoscopes. TSA showed that total sample size reached the RIS for success rates. The TSA Z curve surpassed the futility boundary. The C-MAC required less ELM compared to the Macintosh (RR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.72–0.96). TSA corrected the CI to 0.67–1.03; 52.3% of the RIS was achieved. In difficult airways, the C-MAC showed superior success rates, glottic visualisation, and less ELM compared to the Macintosh. Among experienced laryngoscopists, the C-MAC offered better glottic visualisation with less ELM than the Macintosh. Conclusions: The C-MAC provided better glottic visualisation and less ELM (GRADE: Very Low or Moderate), with improved success rates, glottic visualisation, and less ELM in difficult airways.
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