Professor Valentin Sinitsyn is chair of radiology and head of the radiology department at the medical faculty of Moscow Lomonosov State University, Moscow. A pioneer in cardiac imaging in Russia, he has helped advance the field in his country, but believes there is still much to be done to increase MR and CT use. After 20 years of working to advance the ECR and European radiology, he will receive the ESR Gold Medal today.
Sinitsyn has witnessed the introduction of spiral and multidetector CT, high-field MRI and hybrid imaging, and the development of evidence-based radiology and medicine.
As he graduated from Sechenov Medical University in Moscow in 1984, cardiac CT and MRI did not yet exist. “With the help of these new modalities, radiology penetrated fields where it had never been used before, and the best example is cardiac imaging,” he said.
Sinitsyn started implementing cardiac imaging back in the 1980s and has very fond memories from that time. Although these were also harsh days for the field, he said.
“Most cardiologists and radiologists believed that cardiac MRI and CT were toys that were good for nothing in real clinical practice. I still remember my first case of apical hypertrophic cardiomyopathy diagnosed with cardiac MRI in 1987, when nobody could make a correct diagnosis,” he said.
Today he admits to being a little disappointed with the slow penetration of cardiac MRI and CT in Russian clinical practice. The benefits of modern cardiac imaging are well known, but the percentage of cardiac CT and MR examinations in cardiac imaging is just around 1%. “Low reimbursement for such examinations and insufficient knowledge and motivation from both radiologists and cardiologists are mostly to blame for this situation,” he said.