Advisory: Give yourself extra time when travelling by car to Toronto General Hospital, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, or Toronto Rehab University Centre. City of Toronto construction on University Ave. may cause delays.
At UHN, we strive to deliver Compassionate Care & Caring. Learn more about the services and supports that are available to you throughout your journey.
Our UHN programs and services are among the most advanced in the world. We have grouped our physicians,
staff, services and resources into 10 medical programs to meet the needs of our patients and help us make
the most of our resources.
At the heart of everything we do at UHN are our Healthcare Professionals. Refer a patient to one of our 12 medical programs. Learn more about the resources and opportunities available for professional growth.
University Health Network has grown to be one of the largest research and teaching hospital networks in Canada - pioneers in improving the lives of patients. Our long history of health professions education at Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab hospitals has consistently advanced the science of education.
University Health Network is a health care and medical research organization in
Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made us a national and international
source for discovery, education and patient care.
Being touched by illness affects us in different ways. Many people want to give back to the community
and help others. At UHN, we welcome your contribution and offer different ways you can help so you can find one that suits you.
The Newsroom is the source for media looking for information about UHN or trying to connect with one
of our experts for an interview. It's also the place to find UHN media policies and catch up on our news stories, videos, media releases,
podcasts and more.
A new study from researchers at Toronto General Hospital Research Institute (TGHRI) has identified a way to predict and guide transplant physicians on donor lung suitability and transplant outcomes using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools.
Ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) is a medical technique, invented at UHN, in which a donated lung is preserved outside of the body so that it can be assessed and treated prior to transplant. This process helps to ensure that the lung is healthy and functioning properly before being transplanted into a patient.
"Although EVLP has improved the number of transplant procedures conducted, this increase still falls significantly short of the growing number of individuals added to the transplant waiting list each year – a problem that has been compounded by the pandemic," says Dr.
Shaf Keshavjee, Director of the Latner Thoracic Surgery Research Laboratories and Director of the Toronto Lung Transplant Program within UHN's Ajmera Transplant Centre and UHN's Sprott Department of Surgery.
"Additionally, the assessment of lungs undergoing EVLP is largely subjective," says Dr. Keshavjee, who is also a Senior Scientist at TGHRI, Chief of Innovation at UHN and a professor at the University of Toronto (U of T). "There are no standardized guidelines that can accurately determine which organs are suitable for transplant."
While AI and machine learning tools have begun to make an impact on clinical decision-making, the use of AI for organ transplantation has not yet been studied.
"We wanted to understand whether AI could aid clinicians in determining whether a donor lung was suitable for transplant," says Dr.
Bo Wang, Chief AI Scientist at UHN and a scientist at TGHRI.
"To do this, we utilized a machine learning program called Extreme Gradient Boosting (XGBoost), which studies large sets of data to make predictions using an ensemble of decision trees – a series of questions that the model asks about the data," says Dr. Wang, who is also a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Artificial Intelligence for Medicine and assistant professor at U of T.
"We analyzed data from 725 EVLP cases using InsighTx," says Dr.
Andrew Sage, assistant scientist within the Toronto Lung Transplant Program, UHN's Ajmera Transplant Centre and TGHRI. "We showed that the InsighTx AI model learned from this EVLP data and was able to predict which lungs were unsuitable for transplant and which transplants would have good outcomes for patients."
Additionally, in a real-world evaluation of surgical decision-making, lung suitability assessments made by a group of trained clinicians were compared with or without the aid of InsighTx. The results of this evaluation demonstrated that InsighTx increased the likelihood of getting it right – that is transplanting suitable donor lungs and not transplanting unsuitable donor lungs.
This study suggests that the impact of AI on transplantation rates could be dramatic and that an overall increase in safe organ utilization and transplant activity is plausible.
"This is the first evidence that an AI-guided approach could lead to a safe increase in the number of transplants performed following EVLP," says Dr. Sage, who is also an assistant professor at U of T. "As the need for viable organs continues to grow, this knowledge would be a significant step forward in the field of organ transplantation."
This work was supported by UHN's Ajmera Transplant Centre, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and UHN Foundation.
Dr. Keshavjee serves as Chief Medical Officer of Traferox Technologies and receives personal fees from Lung Bioengineering, outside of this published work. Drs. Sage, Valero, Liu, Cypel, Wang and Keshavjee are inventors of patents related to this work.