The safety and adverse event rate of supraglottic airway (SGA) devices for cesarean delivery (CD) is poorly characterized. The primary aims of this review were to determine whether the first-pass success was higher and time to insertion for SGA was faster than endotracheal intubation for elective CD. The secondary aim was to determine the airway-related adverse event rate associated with SGA use compared to endotracheal intubation in elective CD under general anesthesia (GA).
Six databases were systematically searched until September 2019. Included studies reported on the use of SGA in comparison to endotracheal tube intubation. A comparative meta-analysis between SGA and endotracheal intubation was performed using RevMan 5.3 software. Dichotomous outcomes were reported using an odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI). The results for continuous outcomes were reported using a weighted mean difference (WMD) with 95% CI.
Fourteen studies with 2236 patients compared SGA and endotracheal intubation. Overall, there was no statistically significant difference in first-attempt success rate (OR = 1.92; 95% CI, 0.85–4.32; I2
= 0%; P
= .44). There was no clinically significant difference in time to insertion (WMD = −15.80 seconds; 95% CI, −25.30 to −6.31 seconds; I2
= 100%; P
= .001). Similarly, there was no difference in any adverse event rate except sore throat which was reduced with the use of an SGA (OR = 0.16; 95% CI, 0.08–0.32; I2
= 53%; P
Despite the reasonable insertion success rate and safety profile of SGAs demonstrated in this meta-analysis, the analysis remains underpowered and therefore inconclusive. At present, further studies are required before the use of an SGA as the first-line airway for an elective CD can be recommended.