Seven pregnant ewes from 100 to 137 days of gestation were infused with systemic doses of norepinephrine and uterine arterial flow dose-response curves were determined. A constant infusion of norepinephrine at a mean rate of 0.24 μg per minute per kilogram led to a 39.3 per cent decrease in total uterine arterial blood flow as measured with isotope-labeled microspheres while systemic pressure was unaltered. At this dose the reduction in endometrial blood flow (-64 per cent) was significantly greater than that in either the myometrium (-45 per cent) or placental cotyledons (-31 per cent) (p < 0.005). Significant decreases in blood flow to small bowel, skeletal muscle, vagina, cervix, Fallopian tubes, kidneys, spleen, pancreas, and mammary gland were documented. There were no significant increases in blood flow. This study demonstrates that during the period of pregnancy studied, the overwhelming response to norepinephrine is vasoconstriction and that the vascular beds of all the tissues of pregnant uterus are sensitive to the alpha-adrenergic effects of norepinephrine.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology