The effects of catecholamines on longitudinal displacements and intramural shear strain of the arterial wall are unexplored. Therefore, the common carotid artery of five anaesthetized pigs was investigated using an in-house developed noninvasive ultrasonic technique. The study protocol included intravenous infusion of low-dose epinephrine (β-adrenoceptor activation), as well as intravenous boluses of norepinephrine (α-adrenoceptor activation). Further, the effects of β-blockade (metoprolol) were studied. There were significant positive correlations between pulse pressure and longitudinal displacement of the intima-media complex (r = 0.72; P < 0.001), as well as between pulse pressure and intramural shear strain (r = 0.48; P < 0.001). Following administration of norepinephrine, the longitudinal displacement of the intima-media complex and intramural shear strain profoundly increased (median 190%, range 102-296%, and median 141%, range 101-182%, respectively, compared with baseline), also when given during β-blockade (median 228%, range 133-266%, and median 158%, range 152-235%, respectively). During infusion of low-dose epinephrine, the longitudinal displacement of the intima-media complex and intramural shear strain decreased (median 88%, range 69-122%, and median 69%, range 47-117%, respectively, compared with baseline). In conclusion, the present study shows, for the first time, that the longitudinal displacement and intramural shear strain of the porcine carotid artery undergo profound changes in response to catecholamines. Increase in longitudinal displacements seems to be strongly related to α-adrenoceptor activation. Thus metoprolol is insufficient to counteract a profound increase in longitudinal displacement and intramural shear strain following a surge of norepinephrine.