Cold stimulus, immersing the hand into ice water, was given to pregnant women with and without preeclampsia. The uterine artery blood flow was observed before, during and after the stimulus by Doppler ultrasound. The pulsatility index in the uterine artery blood flow was significantly increased by the cold exposure in preeclampsia from 1.14 to 1.52, whereas it increased in normal control from 0.95 to 1.25. In two of 11 cases of preeclampsia with fetal growth restriction, cold stimulus to the mother elicited a decrease of variability on fetal heart rate monitoring. Cold stimulus induces the constriction of the uterine artery, leading to a decrease of placental blood flow. - uterine artery blood flow; cold pressor test; preeclampsia (C) 1998 Tohoku University Medical Press.
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