[Étienne Destot (1864-1918) or the other father of French radiology]

Cancer Radiother. 2017 Apr;21(2):138-147. doi: 10.1016/j.canrad.2016.10.004. Epub 2017 Apr 7.
[Article in French]


Étienne Destot is a French physician from Burgundy who benefited, during his studies in Lyon, from the quality of teaching of the best specialists of the time: Augagneur for hygiene, Testut for anatomy, Ollier for surgery, Lépine for the medical applications of electricity and the Lumière brothers for the technological development. During its experiments, he met Despeignes, the first radiation oncologist, Regaud pioneer of radiobiology and Bouchacourt who pointed out individual radiosensitivity. Less than two months after the X-rays discovery by Roentgen, he produced one of the first French radiographic views that were at the origin of our current knowledge in bone and cartilage anatomy and traumatology. He funded the first department of radiology in France in a former library of the major hospital of Lyon, where he made a number of original advances. It appears obvious that, while Antoine Beclère was the great organizer of the French radiology, Destot was its pathfinder. Destot was at the origin of several technological advances that gave stereoscopy, internal organs imaging and quantification of the heart-thorax ratio. By contrast, he was not convinced of the therapeutic properties of X-rays even if he contributed to the technological development of X-ray tubes. Victim of radiations, exhausted, Destot died on December 1918, by helping the Great War victims. His name is written in a war tribute monument in Arc-et-Senans (Burgundy).

Keywords: Destot; Radiologie; Radiology; Rayons X; X-rays.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • France
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Radiology / history*

Personal name as subject

  • Etienne Destot