Adrenal catecholamine secretion after stimulation of trigeminal nucleus caudalis (Vc) was compared to that evoked from more ventrolateral brain stem areas (VLM) by sampling adrenal venous blood in anesthetized cats. The effect of stimulus pattern on catecholamine secretion was assessed by presenting an equal number (300 pulses over 15 s) of electrical stimuli (75 μA, 0.2 ms) as a continuous pattern and as a burst pattern pulse train at each electrode site. Epinephrine secretion increased promptly by 1 min after burst pattern stimulation of Vc, whereas continuous pattern stimuli had no consistent effect. Burst pattern stimulation of VLM sites caused a small decrease in epinephrine secretion, whereas continuous pattern stimuli had no significant effect. Adrenal norepinephrine increased equally after Vc or VLM stimulation regardless of stimulus pattern. The adrenal catecholamine secretory responses could not be explained by the transient evoked changes in adrenal venous plasma flow or arterial pressure. The data indicate that stimulation of Vc evokes a pattern-dependent increase in epinephrine secretion, whereas the increase in norepinephrine secretion is equal after burst or continuous pattern stimuli. Further, adrenal activation by brief neural stimuli cannot be assessed adequately in the cat by measuring epinephrine secretion alone, since stimulation of many ventrolateral brain stem sites caused significant increase in norepinephrine secretion with no corresponding increase in epinephrine secretion.