Department of Cardiology



The origins of the Department of Cardiology should be considered dating back to 1957, when at the initiative of the Rector of Kaunas Medical Institute Prof. Zigmas Januškevičius, the 40-bed therapeutic cardiology profile department was established on the 3rd floor of the Central Building of the State Kaunas Clinical Hospital (first head of the department Prof. A. Lukoševičiūtė). In 1977, the Department was transferred to a new cardiology building, where during the design and construction of the department plenty of initiative and creativity was displayed by Prof. Juozas Blužas. In 1989, the Department of Cardiology was established, where numerous staff transferred to from the second Department of Internal Diseases (headed by Prof. P. Šnipas) including Assoc. Prof. R. Jonkaitienė and Assistant V. Ruzovas, and the from first Department of Internal Diseases (led by Prof. A. Baubinienė) – Assoc. Prof. A. G. Januškevičiūtė, Assoc. Prof. D. Satkienė, Assistant A. Kavoliūnienė, Assoc. Prof. A. Eviltis and Prof. P. Zabiela. In 1991, when the clinical profiling program was launched, a Department of Cardiology was established. Prof. Petras Zabiela was chosen as its Head, who led the Department until 2000. Since 2001 the Department is headed by Remigijus Žaliūnas.  

Since 2010 problem-based training has been implemented at the Department of Cardiology. The cardiovascular and endocrine diseases module lasts 15 weeks, 400 hours. 4th-year students of the Faculty of Medicine acquire new knowledge about the prevalence, causes, pathogenesis, diagnosis and methods of treatment of the most common cardiovascular and endocrine diseases, prophylaxis and practical skills of independent examination of patients in cardiology, cardiac surgery, clinical laboratory diagnostics, clinical biochemistry, radiology, rehabilitation and endocrinology. Students of 4th and 6th year have the opportunity to improve their knowledge of cardiology in the 2-week elective cycle (2 credits). Students can acquire scientific work skills by participating in the activities of the students’ Scientific Society Cardiology Team. Residents of the speciality of internal diseases acquire clinical work skills of cardiology in a 4-month cycle of cardiology. Their theoretical knowledge is improved in 18 seminars. Practical and theoretical knowledge of residents is assessed according to the results of the test after the cycle and later by taking the general internal disease exam. Since 1993, the training of cardiology residents lasts for 4 years. The programme is based on the cardiovascular Core Curriculum recommended by the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) and the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Every year, 3-5 cardiologists improve their knowledge and skills in our postgraduate training courses at the Department of Cardiology. The Department of Cardiology cooperates with the Institute of Cardiology – Clinical, Invasive Cardiology, Clinical Biochemistry, Cardiology Research Automation Laboratories, as well as the Department of Rehabilitation and other LSMU Departments.

Since the autumn semester of 1993, the Department of Cardiology has been conducting integrated internal disease studies and since the spring semester also the cardiology studies. Every year since 1994, about 150 internal disease doctors and cardiologists have acquired certificates confirming the completion of cardiology courses. Theoretical and practical issues of cardiology are discussed during the year at 4-6 conferences organised by the Kaunas Region Cardiology Society and 4 conferences organised by the Lithuanian Society of Cardiology. In organising these conferences, professors, associate professors, doctors, scientists of the Department of Cardiology are actively involved.

Scientific activity of the Department of Cardiology is aimed at the introduction of new diagnostic and treatment methods for ischemic disease, arrhythmias, acquired heart defects, infectious endocarditis, heart failure, introduction of new anti-arrhythmic, thrombolytic drugs. The most important works are presented in conferences in Lithuania, the Baltic States, Italy, Sweden, France, Germany and other countries. According to the rules of good clinical practice, various clinical trials have been carried out or are carried out at the Department of Cardiology: Amlodipine, Azimilide, Dofetilide, D-Sotalol, Carvedilol, Lanoteplase, PEG-Hirudin, Losartan, lorafiban, Perindopril, Simvastatin, Tedisamil, Telmisartan etc.

LSMU Kaunas Clinics Department of Cardiology cooperates with Vilnius University Cardiology Clinic. Joint articles are published in the Lithuanian Medical Journal – Medicina. Specialists of the Department of Cardiology of LSMU have improved their skills at the best Cardiology Clinics of Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, France and the USA.

The applied research at the Department of Cardiology is “identification of risk factors, clinical and biochemical markers, cardiac parameters and myocardial morphological (molecular, cellular) changes and gene variants and their value for the prediction of the course and outcome of the disease”.

Lecturers of the Department of Cardiology, scientists carry out the following scientific projects together with scientists of the LSMU Institute of Cardiology, Cardiovascular Clinic and other clinics:

  • 2004 – 2006 project “Development and implementation of modern teaching methods for heart ultrasound examination” implemented under measure 2.5 of priority 2 of the BPD (contract No. ESF/ 2004/2.5.0-03-412), where the training tools were prepared on the basis of digital technologies: Teaching textbook “Basics of Echocardiography”, textbook “Echocardiography in Clinical Practice” and CDs – Echocardiographic Image Atlases, Educational Digital Database of Echocardiographic Images.
  • 2002 – 2005 VMSF funded project “Myocardial Remodelling Determinants”.
  • 2007 VMSF funded the project “Vascular Stiffness Tests for Early Pathology Diagnosis”.
  • 2009 VMSF-funded project “Morphogenesis of Thoracic Aortic Dilatational Pathology: Investigation of the Renin-angiotensin System and the Expression of TGF-beta”.
  • 2009 – 2010 KMU Science Foundation funded project “Assessment of Cardiac Rotational Motion and Wall Tension in Children After Radiofrequency Ablation Procedure”.
  • 2010 – 2011 project “Search for New Markers of Myocardial Dysfunction Diagnosis and Prognosis: Value of Deformations Indicators” funded by the Research Council of Lithuania.
  • 2012–2014 project “Pathology of Ascending Aorta: Search for Molecular and Biomechanical Markers of Dilation” funded by the Research Council of Lithuania.
  • 2013 – 2015 the project “Diagnostic Value of Myocardial Deformations in Determining the Haemodynamic Significance of Coronary Artery Stenosis”, funded by the Research Council of Lithuania.

Each year 1-2 doctoral students start their studies in the Department of Cardiology, and the base of the Department is used for research by the LSMU Institute of Cardiology, Palanga Institute of Behavioural Medicine, doctoral students of the Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Surgery. Residents and students of the clinic join the research work of doctoral students. Compulsory scientific work is carried out annually by 10-12 fifth and sixth-year students.

  • A joint project of Lithuania, Latvia and Poland in the field of rare heart diseases “European Network for Orphan Heart Diseases” funded by the Regional operational Programme for Malopolska 2007-2013, Priority 8. Interregional cooperation.
  • The department has been conducting out surveillance of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) EUROobservation Research programme observation registers (Peripartum Cardiomyopathy Registry, Cardiomyopathy Long Term Registry, Heart Failure Long-Term Registry, European Infective Endocarditis registry (EURO-ENDO), Valvular Heart Disease I, II Survey, Chronic Ischemic Cardiovascular Disease Pilot Registry, Registry Of Pregnancy And Cardiac disease) since 2011.
  • International Survey on Acute Coronary Syndromes in Transitional Countries (ISACS-TC), 2010
  • The international project “DISCHARGE Diagnostic Imaging Strategies for patients with stable chest pain and intermediate risk of coronary artery disease: comparative effectiveness research of existing technologies” (project No. 603266 (FP7-HEALTH-2013-INNOVATION-1), carried out between 2014 and 2019.
LSMU Department of Cardiology
Prof. habil. dr. Remigijus Žaliūnas
Head of the Department of Cardiology
All contacts