Headquarters of national and international associations

Department Cardiovascular Diseases has been the headquarter of the Croatian Cardiac Society since its foundation. From 1989 to 1996 the president and founder of the Society was Ivo Čikeš, from 1996-2003 Šime Mihatov and from 2003 until today the president of the Society is Davor Miličić. From 1984 to 1989 Department was also the headquarter of Working Group for Echocardiography of the European Society of Cardiology (President of the Working Group: Ivo Čikeš) and the reference centre for echocardiography education of the World Federation for Ultrasound in Biology and Medicine (leader: Ivo Čikeš). The chancellors of the European Society of Cardiology were Ivo Čikeš (1990-1992) and Davor Miličić (2013-2015).

Head of the Department: Academician Davor Miličić, MD, PhD, Internal Medicine Specialist, Cardiology Subspecialist
Chief Nurse: Danijela Grgurević, mag. med. techn. 

Department of Cardiovascular Diseases UHC Zagreb is the largest and leading Cardiology Department in Croatia: it employs a total of 39 Cardiology Specialists, 6 Cardiology Residents and 147 nurses and medical technicians. The Department's capacity is 87 hospital beds, distributed to 5 units. There are 5 Reference Centres of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia: Reference Centre for echocardiography, Reference Centre for Invasive and Interventional Cardiology, Reference Centre for congenital heart diseases in adults, Reference Centre for intensive and acute treatment of cardiac patients, Reference Centre for heart failure and transplantation cardiology.
There are 4 intervention rooms with the possibility of treating adults and children with a wide range of cardiovascular diseases, including coronary artery diseases, valvular heart diseases, arrhythmia, thoracic aorta diseases and structural heart diseases.

Reference Centres of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia:

  • Reference Centre of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia for Echocardiography
  • Reference Centre of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia for Invasive and Interventional Cardiology
  • Reference Centre of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia for Congenital Heart Diseases in Adults
  • Reference Centre of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia for Intensive and Acute Treatment of Cardiac Patients
  • Reference Centre of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia for Heart Failure and Transplantation Cardiology


The Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, University Hospital Centre (UHC) Zagreb is the leading cardiology institution in Croatia. In 1949 the first Hospital Division of Cardiology in Croatia was founded by Radovan Ivančić, which was at the time part of Clinic of Internal Medicine, UHC Zagreb. Following Radovan Ivančić, the Head of the Department were Fedor Čustović. In 1992. Ivo Čikeš founded the first Department of Cardiovascular Diseases in Croatia. From 2003 to 2007 the Head of the Department was Anton Šmalcelj, and since 2007 the Head of the Department is Davor Miličić.
The Department is one of the leading teaching facilities of School of Medicine, University of Zagreb. As part of the Department of Internal Medicine, it participates in mandatory courses: Internal Medicine, History taking and Physical Examination, Fundamentals of Medical Skills, Medical Ethics, Emergency Medicine, Rational Pharmacotherapy and Clinical Reasoning. The Department participates in Medical Studies in English at School of Medicine, University of Zagreb. The Department also participates in Postgraduate Cardiology course, multiple other Postgraduate specialist courses and PhD courses Biomedicine and Health in Croatian and in English. The Department takes place in multiple scientific projects and important multicentric clinical studies. Department’s physicians are members of leading Croatian and European Cardiology Societies. The Department is headquarter of Croatian Cardiac Society and Croatian Association of Cardiology Nurses. Besides education of physicians in fields of Internal Medicine and Cardiology, a lot of attention is dedicated to education of cardiology nurses, which are actively included in European courses for cardiology nurses.
The Department is also the headquarter of five national reference centers in the field of cardiology. As a recognized center of excellence, it independently organizes international educational activities.
Chronological overview of the establishing of specialized laboratories and departments
- First heart catheterization laboratory in Croatia (Suzana Šarić, 1952)
- First specialized department of vascular diseases in Croatia (Fedor Čustović, 1972)
- First echocardiographic laboratory (Ivo Čikeš, 1978)
- First laboratory for electrophysiological heart studies in Croatia (Vladimir Goldner, 1978)
In these laboratories, for the first time in Croatia, numerous surgeries and interventions have been performed
- first heart catheterization in Croatia (Suzana Šarić, 1950.)
- electrophysiological study of the heart conduction system (Vladimir Goldner, 1978)
- transseptal catheterization of the left side of the heart (Mihajlo Šesto, 1978)
- endomyocardial biopsy (Mihajlo Šesto, 1979)
- two dimensional echocardiography, pulse wave, continuous wave and color doppler (Ivo Čikeš, 1979.)
- percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (Mihajlo Šesto, 1980)
- first ultrasound-guided pericardiocentesis with the help of own equipment in the world (Ivo Čikeš, Aleksandar Ernst, 1982.)
- first catheterization of the heart with ultrasound-marked catheters in the worlds (Ivo Čikeš, Aleksandar Ernst, Branko Marinović, Ivan Malčić, 1983)
- balloon dilatation in the pulmonary valve stenosis (Mihajlo Šesto, 1984)
- intracoronary and systemic fibrinolysis in acute myocardial infarction (Mihajlo Šesto, Vladimir Goldner, Zdravko Batinić, 1985)
- electrical ablation of the atrioventricular node (Vladimir Goldner and Zdravko Batinić, 1985)
- balloon dilatation in the mitral valve stenosis (Mihajlo Šesto, 1990),
- stent placement in the coronary artery (Mihajlo Šesto, 1995)
- transesophageal echocardiography (Nikša Drinković, 1989)
- transplantation cardiology program (Davor Miličić, 1996)
- "stress" echocardiography (Davor Miličić, 2000)
- rotational atherectomy of coronary stenoses (rotablation) (Maja Strozzi, 2003)
- intra-aortic balloon pump implantation (Maja Strozzi, 2003)
- intracoronary ultrasound (Eduard Margetić, 2004)
- alcohol septal ablation in the treatment of patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (Eduard Margetić, 2004)
- intracardial ultrasound (Davor Miličić, Bruno Buljević, 2006)
- endovascular repair of thoracic aorta - TEVAR (Maja Strozzi, 2007)
- mechanical heart support program (Davor Miličić, Bojan Biočina, 2008)
- transcutaneous implantation of the aortic valve (Maja Strozzi, Joško Bulum 2012)
- percutaneous implantation of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and mechanical blood flow support (ECMO) (Boško Skorić, Maja Čikeš, 2013)
- radiofrequency catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation (Davor Puljević, Borka Pezo Nikolić, 2015)
- cryoisolation of the pulmonary veins in atrial fibrillation (Davor Puljević, Borka Pezo Nikolić, 2015)
- optical coherence tomography of coronary artery - OCT (Joško Bulum 2015)
- ablation of ventricular tachycardia in structural heart disease (Davor Puljević, Borka Pezo Nikolić, Vedran Velagić, 2016)
- closure of atrial septal defect in adults (Maja Strozzi, Kristina Marić Bešić, 2017)
- closure of the persistent foramen ovale in adults (Maja Strozzi, Joško Bulum, Kristina Marić Bešić, 2018)
- percutaneous stent implantation in aortic coarctation (Maja Strozzi, Kristina Marić Bešić, 2018)
- transcatheter interatrial shunt device implantation in patients with preserved ejection fraction (Boško Skorić, Vedran Velagić, Maja Čikeš, 2018)
- percutaneous mitral valve repair – MitraClip (Joško Bulum, Boško Skorić, 2019)
- transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement – Melody (Maja Strozzi, Kristina Marić Bešić, 2019)
- epicardial ablation of ventricular tachycardia (Davor Puljević, Borka Pezo Nikolić, Vedran Velagić, 2019)
- intravascular (shock-wave) lithotripsy of calcified coronary stenoses (Joško Bulum, 2020)
- percutaneous left ventricular mechanical support during high risk percutaneous coronary intervention (Joško Bulum, 2020)
- ablation of ventricular tachycardia in patients with permanent left ventricular mechanical support (Davor Puljević, Vedran Velagić, 2021)
Inventions and patents
Department of Cardiovascular Diseases has developed 26 inventions, patents and patent applications since 1982 within the Federal and Republic Patent Offices and the U.S. Pat. Patent et Trademark Office, Washington DC, European Patent Office, Munich and World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva (Ivo Čikeš, Branko Breyer, Božidar Ferek-Petrić, Vladimir Goldner and Aleksandar Ernst). Prototypes of the original ultrasound-labelled catheters and electrophysiological electrodes and related electronics were made in Zagreb and in the companies Argon (Athens, Texas), Telectronics (Denver, Colorado) and Sulzer-Osypka Medical (Freiburg, Germany).
  • Objekt (naziv zgrade): main building
  • Dio češlja/krilo zgrade: east wing
  • Etaža: floor 2
vrh stranice