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.
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.
Our 10 medical programs are spread across eight hospital sites – Princess Margaret, Toronto General, Toronto Rehab’s five sites, Toronto Western – as well as our education programs through the Michener Institute of Education at UHN. Learn more about the services, programs and amenities offered at each location.
Maps & Directions
Find out how to get to and around our nine locations — floor plans, parking, public transit, accessibility services, and shuttle information.
Ways You Can Help
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.
Almost one in every two Canadians with diabetes will develop kidney disease, a leading cause of illness and death.
A new study by Drs.
David Cherney, Julie Lovshin and
Bruce Perkins (Toronto General Hospital Research Institute) has shed light on why this is the case by identifying one of the factors that influence the progression of kidney disease in diabetes patients.
Higher than normal blood sugar levels, which are often observed in patients with diabetes, can damage the small blood vessels within the kidney. These fine blood vessels are critical for the organ's ability to function and to filter out toxins from the body.
When these vessels become compromised, serious complications can arise, including the accumulation of toxins in the body, high blood pressure and even heart failure.
In the study, Drs. Cherney, Lovshin and Perkins explored the activation of a pathway—known as the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS)—that plays a role in kidney function. Persistent activation of the RAAS system has been linked to kidney disease and medications that block the RAAS can prevent kidney dysfunction.
The researchers looked at the effect of giving RAAS hormones to three groups of study participants: healthy individuals, those with long-term diabetes and those with long-term diabetes and signs of kidney damage. They then looked at changes in kidney function to determine how the participants had responded to the RAAS hormone activation.
They found that individuals with diabetes, but no signs of kidney failure, had comparable RAAS activity to healthy nondiabetic patients.
In contrast, individuals with diabetes that showed signs of kidney disease had higher levels of RAAS hormone activity in the arteries that supply blood to the kidney. This response to RAAS hormone activation suggested the microscopic arteries that supply the kidney—called glomeruli—may play an important role in kidney disease development.
"These observations strongly suggest RAAS activation could be an important marker for kidney dysfunction, especially in patients with long-term diabetes" explains Dr. Cherney.
"Importantly, it suggests that other available methods for modifying RAAS activity may be required for a subset of patients. Further research is required to identify new medications that act at the inflow arteries in the kidney to lower pressure and strain on kidney glomeruli."
This work was supported by JDRF and the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation.