Résumé : Introduction: The optimal timing of tracheotomy in critically ill patients remains a topic of debate. We performed a systematic review to clarify the potential benefits of early versus late tracheotomy. Methods: We searched PubMed and CENTRAL for randomized controlled trials that compared outcomes in patients managed with early and late tracheotomy. A random-effects meta-analysis, combining data from three a priori-defined categories of timing of tracheotomy (within 4 versus after 10days, within 4 versus after 5days, within 10 versus after 10days), was performed to estimate the weighted mean difference (WMD) or odds ratio (OR). Results: Of the 142 studies identified in the search, 12, including a total of 2,689 patients, met the inclusion criteria. The tracheotomy rate was significantly higher with early than with late tracheotomy (87% versus 53%, OR 16.1 (5.7-45.7); p <0.01). Early tracheotomy was associated with more ventilator-free days (WMD 2.12 (0.94, 3.30), p <0.01), a shorter ICU stay (WMD -5.14 (-9.99, -0.28), p = 0.04), a shorter duration of sedation (WMD -5.07 (-10.03, -0.10), p <0.05) and reduced long-term mortality (OR 0.83 (0.69-0.99), p = 0.04) than late tracheotomy. Conclusions: This updated meta-analysis reveals that early tracheotomy is associated with higher tracheotomy rates and better outcomes, including more ventilator-free days, shorter ICU stays, less sedation, and reduced long-term mortality, compared to late tracheotomy.