Early treatment versus expectative management of patent ductus arteriosus in preterm infants: a multicentre, randomised, non-inferiority trial in Europe (BeNeDuctus trial)

Tim Hundscheid*, Wes Onland, Bart van Overmeire, Peter Dijk, Anton H. L. C. van Kaam, Koen P. Dijkman, Elisabeth M. W. Kooi, Eduardo Villamor, Andre A. Kroon, Remco Visser, Daniel C. Vijlbrief, Susanne M. de Tollenaer, Filip Cools, David van Laere, Anne-Britt Johansson, Catheline Hocq, Alexandra Zecic, Eddy Adang, Rogier Donders, Willem de VriesArno F. J. van Heijst, Willem P. de Boode

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Much controversy exists about the optimal management of a patent ductus arteriosus (FDA) in preterm infants, especially in those born at a gestational age (GA) less than 28 weeks. No causal relationship has been proven between a (haemodynamically significant) PDA and neonatal complications related to pulmonary hyperperfusion and/or systemic hypoperfusion. Although studies show conflicting results, a common understanding is that medical or surgical treatment of a FDA does not seem to reduce the risk of major neonatal morbidities and mortality. As the PDA might have closed spontaneously, treated children are potentially exposed to iatrogenic adverse effects. A conservative approach is gaining interest worldwide, although convincing evidence to support its use is lacking. Methods: This multicentre, randomised, non-inferiority trial is conducted in neonatal intensive care units. The study population consists of preterm infants (GA < 28 weeks) with an echocardiographic-confirmed PDA with a transductal diameter > 1.5 mm. Early treatment (between 24 and 72 h postnatal age) with the cyclooxygenase inhibitor (COXi) ibuprofen (IBU) is compared with an expectative management (no intervention intended to close a PDA). The primary outcome is the composite of mortality, and/or necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) Bell stage >= IIa, and/or bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) defined as the need for supplemental oxygen, all at a postmenstrual age (PMA) of 36 weeks. Secondary outcome parameters are short term sequelae of cardiovascular failure, comorbidity and adverse events assessed during hospitalization and long-term neurodevelopmental outcome assessed at a corrected age of 2 years. Consequences regarding health economics are evaluated by cost effectiveness analysis and budget impact analysis. Discussion: As a conservative approach is gaining interest, we investigate whether in preterm infants, born at a GA less than 28 weeks, with a PDA an expectative management is non-inferior to early treatment with IBU regarding to the composite outcome of mortality and/or NEC and/or BPD at a PMA of 36 weeks.
Original languageEnglish
Article number262
Number of pages14
JournalBmc Pediatrics
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2018


  • Prematurity
  • Patent ductus arteriosus
  • Neonatal intensive care unit
  • Ibuprofen
  • Expectative management
  • Ductal ligation
  • Mortality
  • Necrotising enterocolitis
  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • Cost-effectiveness

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