Résumé : Abstract Background Controversy exists about the optimal management of a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in preterm infants. A persistent PDA is associated with neonatal mortality and morbidity, but causality remains unproven. Although both pharmacological and/or surgical treatment are effective in PDA closure, this has not resulted in an improved neonatal outcome. In most preterm infants, a PDA will eventually close spontaneously, hence PDA treatment potentially increases the risk of iatrogenic adverse effects. Therefore, expectant management is gaining interest, even in the absence of convincing evidence to support this strategy. Methods/design The BeNeDuctus trial is a multicentre, randomised, non-inferiority trial assessing early pharmacological treatment (24–72 h postnatal age) with ibuprofen versus expectant management of PDA in preterm infants in Europe. Preterm infants with a gestational age of less than 28 weeks and an echocardiographic-confirmed PDA with a transductal diameter of > 1.5 mm are randomly allocated to early pharmacological treatment with ibuprofen or expectant management after parental informed consent. The primary outcome measure is the composite outcome of mortality, and/or necrotizing enterocolitis Bell stage ≥ IIa, and/or bronchopulmonary dysplasia, all established at a postmenstrual age of 36 weeks. Secondary short-term outcomes are comorbidity and adverse events assessed during hospitalization and long-term neurodevelopmental outcome assessed at a corrected age of 2 years. This statistical analysis plan focusses on the short-term outcome and is written and submitted without knowledge of the data. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NTR5479. Registered on October 19, 2015, with the Dutch Trial Registry, sponsored by the United States National Library of Medicine Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02884219 (registered May 2016) and the European Clinical Trials Database EudraCT 2017-001376-28.