XIX Congress of the Bulgarian Association of Radiology

An Event Focused on Young Professionals


3 - 6 November 2022




Interview with prof. Dora Zlatareva in zdrave.net on 30 November 2022

  • Prof. Dr. Dora Zlatareva is head of the Department of Imaging Diagnostics at Sofia University and part of the clinic team of UMBAL “Alexandrovska”
  • She is author of more than 100 scientific publications in Bulgarian and foreign periodicals, a member of 6 International scientific societies, and invited lecturer of numerous European scientific events.
  • President of Division of neuroradiology of the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS).
  • Participant in a number of international projects.
Today we talk with prof. Zlatareva about the outcomes of the recently held 19th Congress of the Bulgarian Association of Radiology in Plovdiv.

– Prof. Zlatareva, the 19th Congress of the Bulgarian Association of Radiology (BAR) is already history. What are the conclusions?

-Unlike the previous congresses of BAR, the main focus of the 19th congress were young professionals, young colleagues, who make their first steps into medicine and the specialty. There were three sessions during the congress, entirely held by students, interested in radiology and young specialists. I am proud that we were able to inspire and rely on them, as this is exactly the support they need in order to develop their abilities.

They showed great enthusiasm and presented themselves perfectly well in a very demanding academic environment. For me, it is very important that they felt supported by the more experienced generation of specialists. I felt that they were proud of being taken seriously that they had the chance to be part of the radiology society. May be, this is what this congress will be remembered for.

Three young assistants of ours, who study in the best European radiology centers – Genoa, Amsterdam and Vienna, came back for a while in order to participate in the congress. They cut their course of specialization in order to present their reports at the congress, which proves their responsibility and great ambition to develop as radiology specialists.

-How is our radiology school developing at the moment?

-We use the most up-to-date methods for imaging diagnostics, for nuclear diagnostic and radiotherapy, hybrid techniques, as well as methods for У нас се прилагат всички най-съвременни методи за образна диагностика, за нуклеарна диагностика и лъчетерапия, хибридните техники, а така също и за interventional treatment under image control, such as for example interventional radiology. Radiology, which, which unites many different areas is developing very dynamically, new technologies and new methods are constantly coming in. Our three young colleagues that I mentioned, as well as my experience abroad confirm that all the innovative methods applied in the best European centers have been introduced in our country.

-What topics was the forum’s scientific program focused on?

-First of all, I will note that this forum did not discuss aspects of ultrasound diagnostics, because it only rarely gives the definitive diagnosis, and on the other hand, many other scientific events are devoted to this issue.

The program was varied, we devoted two sessions to central nervous system, head and neck imaging, other sessions were focused on abdominal imaging with an oncology focus, as well as pediatric neuroradiology, which was particularly well represented. I will note that the most famous and prominent European specialists in various fields of radiology took part as speakers. Some of them gave lectures within the ESOR – Visiting Professorship Programme, which aroused great interest and were well attended. Professor Andrea Rossi was awarded as an honorary member of BAR for his contribution to Bulgarian neuroradiology.

The technical exhibition gave us the opportunity to get acquainted with the new technologies in our field – such as image visualization technologies to improve the quality of CT and MRT examinations, image analysis and processing platforms, and remote access in diagnostic imaging. Topics from the field of interventional neuroradiology were also included – a field that is developing more and more successfully in our country and has its very prominent and world-famous representatives such as Prof. Stanimir Sirakov from our Department of Imaging Diagnostics and the doctors from his team. In general, interventional procedures through vascular and extravascular access are becoming an increasingly attractive field and more and more younger colleagues are oriented towards them.

-What is the level of interaction with your colleagues in clinical specialties – usually less is known about the medical imaging specialist, his work remains somewhat “behind the scenes”?

-This notion is definitely a thing of the past. We work more and more closely, and imaging is accepted as a clinical specialty.

At the forum, we invited our leading cardiologists, oncologists, chemotherapists and radiation therapists, neurologists, gastroenterologists, who presented lectures and participated in the discussions.

I would like to emphasize that it is this good cooperation that has allowed in recent years to significantly improve early diagnosis, to refine the indications for a given treatment and to rely on its full follow-up for a long time with the possibility of modifying therapeutic schemes. This is of particular importance for cancer patients receiving targeted and biological therapies. But also for others who have inflammatory diseases of the lung or the gastrointestinal system.

Imaging specialists participate in many joint projects, including international ones. A good example is our joint work with Prof. Ivaylo Turnev’s team on projects dedicated to the research of neuromuscular diseases. This is a very fruitful work in which the results are visible and are recognized by the European scientific community.

I will repeat again that modern radiology is developing very intensively and this process will continue. As an example, I can point to studies of fetal morphology and in utero interventions under MRT control, studies on biomarkers in degenerative diseases of the central nervous system and oncological diseases.

-How do you see the future of such scientific forums?

-As the newly elected scientific secretary of the Bulgarian Association of Radiology, I would like to be able to organize scientific conferences in the period between two congresses. This dialogue is important and necessary. It depends on what kind of financial support we get to start organizing. Multidisciplinary discussions are important, but in our country they are not emphasized much. I would like this to change and to work in this direction as well.

I use this opportunity to announce that a new president of the Bulgarian Association of Radiology was elected at the congress – this is Prof. Nicoleta Traikova from MU – Plovdiv.

“I would like to express my gratitude and to congratulate you for the perfect organization of the XIXth congress of BAR. For the last 35 years I have participated in all radiology congresses, but I have never participated in a congress, so well organized! I wish you health and success!”
Dr. Trifon Kalev, MBAL Sliven, VMA Sofia

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