The vascular responses to mental task in visceral arteries in humans have not been elucidated. We observed the responses in the renal (RA) and superior mesenteric (SMA) arteries to mental stress, using simultaneous pulsed and echo Doppler ultrasound flowmetry. Nine healthy females performed a computerized colour word conflict test (CWT) for 3 min. The mean blood velocity (MBV) in the right RA and SMA, heart rate (HR) and blood pressure were measured. The mean arterial pressure (MAP) was divided by the flow velocity to assess the vascular resistance (VR). The CWT significantly increased the MAP, HR and VR in both arteries from the first minute. During the CWT, flow in the RA decreased significantly at the third minute relative to baseline, while flow in the SMA showed no significant change from the first to the third minute. The degree of vasoconstriction in the RA bed was greater than that in the SMA bed. These results suggest that the mental task causes vasoconstriction in visceral arteries, and imply that it induces differential blood flow and vascular responses in visceral arteries.
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