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Endotracheal intubation (EI) in ICU patients is associated with an increased risk of life-threatening adverse events due to unstable conditions, rapid deterioration, limited preparation time, and variability in the expertise of operators. The goal of this study was to compare the effect of video laryngoscopy (VL) and direct laryngoscopy (DL) in ICU patients requiring EI.We searched for relevant studies in PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane database from inception through January 30, 2017. Randomized controlled trials were included if they reported data on any of the predefined outcomes in ICU patients requiring EI and managed with VL or DL. Results were expressed as risk ratios (RRs) or mean differences (MDs) with accompanying 95% CIs.Five randomized controlled trials with 1,301 patients were included. Despite better glottic visualization with VL (RR = 1.24; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.43; P = .003), use of VL did not result in a significant increase in the first-attempt success rate (RR = 1.08; 95% CI, 0.92-1.26; P = .35) compared with DL. In addition, time to intubation (MD = 4.12 s; 95% CI, –15.86-24.09; P = .69), difficult intubation (RR = 0.72; 95% CI, 0.30-1.70; P = .45), mortality (RR = 1.02; 95% CI, 0.84-1.25; P = .83), and most other complications were similar between the VL and DL groups.The VL technique did not increase the first-attempt success rate during EI in ICU patients compared with DL. These findings do not support routine use of VL in ICU patients.