European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 178, Issue 7, pp 1105–1111 | Cite as

Comparative evaluation of Airtraq™ and GlideScope® videolaryngoscopes for difficult pediatric intubation in a Pierre Robin manikin

  • Neel DesaiEmail author
  • Mae Johnson
  • Kat Priddis
  • Samiran Ray
  • Linda Chigaru
Original Article


Airway management in children is associated with anatomical and physiological challenges compared with adults. Pierre Robin sequence (PRS) is a condition characterized by micrognathia, glossoptosis, and cleft palate and related to a difficult airway. Both the Airtraq™ and GlideScope® have never been previously directly compared in PRS. Our aim was to evaluate the performance of these two airway devices in a PRS manikin for ethical and practical reasons. Between April and July 2017, 26, pediatric intensive care clinical fellows or trainees from a tertiary pediatric center were recruited to participate. In this prospective and randomized crossover trial, all participants first set up the Airtraq™ and the GlideScope® and then used these videolaryngoscopes to intubate an AirSim® PRS manikin. Our primary outcome measure was the duration of the successful intubation attempt. Duration of the successful intubation attempt was 18.1 (14.2–34.9 [10.2–51.3]) s for the Airtraq™ compared to 31.1 (18.7–55.6 [6.2–119]) s for the GlideScope® (p = 0.045). Setup time was 50.0 ± 6.9 s for the Airtraq™ and 27.8 ± 8.6 s for the GlideScope® (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Even though setup time was longer, the characteristics of intubation performance were superior with the Airtraq™ relative to the GlideScope® in an AirSim® PRS manikin.

What is Known:

Several case reports have described the successful use of Airtraq™ to intubate children with Pierre Robin sequence.

The GlideScope® has demonstrated similar rates of first-attempt successful intubation to flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy in a Pierre Robin sequence manikin.

What is New:

In the hands of pediatric non-airway specialists, the characteristics of intubation performance, including the duration of the successful intubation attempt, are superior with the Airtraq™ compared with the GlideScope® in a Pierre Robin sequence manikin.

Setup time for the Airtraq™ is, however, longer relative to that for the GlideScope®.


Intubation Laryngoscopy Manikins Pediatrics Pierre Robin syndrome 



Direct laryngoscopy


Flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy


Interquartile range


National Emergency Airway Registry for Children


National Health Service


Percentage of glottic opening


Pierre Robin sequence


Time to intubation


Standard deviation





The authors would like to thank Dr. Emma Borrows, Consultant in Paediatric Critical Care at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, for her assistance in the capture of photographs used in this manuscript. We wish to thank all the participants for their involvement in the study.

Authors’ contributions

ND contributed to the design of the study, data collection, statistical analysis, and drafting and reviewing of the manuscript. MJ contributed to the data collection and drafting of the manuscript. KP contributed to the data collection. SR contributed to the statistical analysis. LC contributed to the design of the study, statistical analysis, and reviewing of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical statements

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

No formal ethical approval needed after consideration by the Joint Research and Development Office, and it was registered as a service evaluation.

Informed consent

Written informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnaestheticsGuy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation TrustLondonUK
  2. 2.Children’s Acute Transport ServiceLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of AnaestheticsGreat Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation TrustLondonUK
  4. 4.Respiratory, Critical Care and Anaesthesia SectionUniversity College London Great Ormond Street Institute of Child HealthLondonUK

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