Harmony R. Reynolds, MD

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About Me

I was always fascinated by the heart. I love cardiology and am happy that we have so much evidence from research about how to take care of problems that affect the heart.

My special interest—and my clinical and research focus—is heart disease in women. I wanted to study why some women have unexplained chest pain and heart attacks, and find appropriate treatments.

Because women’s cardiology is slightly different from men’s cardiology, it’s important that I listen very attentively to my patients about what they are experiencing. I focus not just on the heart, but on the whole body. When ordering tests for my patients, I know how the results are going to impact a patient’s treatment. I never use a test merely because it is available.

I primarily see women who have chest pain or heart attacks, especially those who have open, rather than blocked, arteries. I research broken heart syndrome, which preferentially affects women. My clinical and research goals are focused not only on heart attacks, but also the prevention of heart disease.

I am honored to have been named the Saul J. Farber Associate Professor of Medicine at NYU School of Medicine, and the recipient of the “Rock Star of Research” award from the American Heart Association. NYU Langone is the perfect home for me, because it strongly values everything I strive to do well: patient care, research, and education. I apply my research to caring for patients. My interactions with patients help me train the next generation of physicians, and I bring my research work into education.


Conditions and Treatments

acute coronary syndrome, coronary heart disease, heart attack, chest pain, angina, endothelial dysfunction, atherosclerosis, cardiac disease in pregnancy, abnormal heart rhythms, heart disease, atrial fibrillation, lipid metabolism, slow heartbeat, mitral valve prolapse, peripheral vascular disease, arteriosclerosis, chronic venous insufficiency, carotid artery disease, high blood pressure disorder, fainting, inflammation of the heart valve, mitral regurgitation, obesity, ventricular arrhythmia, myocardial disease, renal artery stenosis, aortic valve disease, heart muscle disease, carotid stenosis, high cholesterol level, heart throbbing, ischemic cardiomyopathy, mitral valve stenosis, inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart, ventricular fibrillation, renal vascular disorder, congestive heart failure, aortic valve insufficiency, myocarditis, heart murmur, claudication, lipid disorder, rapid heartbeat, metabolic syndrome, ventricular tachycardia (VT), rheumatic heart disease, dilated cardiomyopathy, cerebrovascular disorder, aortic valve stenosis, broken heart syndrome, sarcoidosis, heart tumor, occlusive vascular disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
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Credentials

Positions
  • Associate Professor, Department of Medicine
  • Associate Director, Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center
Board Certifications
  • American Board of Internal Medicine (Cardiovascular Disease), 2003
  • American Board of Internal Medicine - Internal Medicine, 2000
Education and Training
  • Fellowship, NYU Medical Center, Cardiology, 2003
  • Residency, NYU Medical Center, Internal Medicine, 2000
Departments

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NYU Cardiology Associates

530 1st Avenue, Skirball 9U
New York, NY 10016

Phone

212-263-7751

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Research My Research

Interests

myocardial infarction , heart disease in women, microvascular coronary disease, takotsubo syndrome (broken heart syndrome), stable ischemic heart disease

Research Summary

My research focuses on less common heart disease syndromes which preferentially affect women, particularly heart attack and chest pain with open, rather than blocked arteries, and takotsubo cardiomyopathy (“broken heart syndrome”).

Myocardial infarctions—or heart attacks, to use the better-known term—are typically the result of cholesterol plaque blocking or narrowing the flow of blood in a coronary artery. Yet in the condition known as MINOCA (myocardial infarction with non-obstructive coronary artery disease), which affects up to 20 percent of patients who have experienced a heart attack and is particularly prevalent in women, angiogram tests show that plaque blockages alone cannot explain the heart attack. If it’s not a blockage causing the heart attack, what is it?

Answering that question is the purpose of my four-year research study in process. The project, which is funded by a grant from the American Heart Association, follows 125 women in the U.S. and Canada and is one of the first heart attack studies to use the advanced imaging technology of optical coherence tomography (OCT), which enables our team to take images from inside of arteries. Images captured through OCT scans will be compared and contrasted with images captured via MRI technology—which visualize the areas of the heart muscle that have been damaged—to determine if MINOCA is caused by a break in a cholesterol plaque or blood vessel wall inside the artery; which parts of the heart are affected; and other important findings.

Right now, physicians are not sure how to treat patients with MINOCA; it’s not clear what medications or diagnostic tests are best. By revealing the likely causes of MINOCA, our study will help physicians make treatment and prevention choices for their patients and set the stage for future research studies to test specific treatments.  

My interest in MINOCA began early in my career; as an NYU School of Medicine cardiology fellow completing a rotation in the coronary care unit at Bellevue Hospital, I saw many cases of women suffering from heart attacks even though their arteries weren’t blocked. I was driven to find the answers to their questions through research.

In addition to our MINOCA research, my team is studying chest pain with open arteries, with funding from the National Institutes of Health. We are also conducting a study which examines whether mindfulness exercises and other relaxation techniques can help manage the risk of stress in patients with heart conditions. With the help of additional NYU School of Medicine collaborators, we aim to better understand how platelets—the cells that form blood clots—differ from individual to individual, and whether such variations play an important role in a given patient’s risk for a heart attack. 

Research Interests Timeline

These focus areas and their associated publications are derived from PubMed and the MeSH term library.
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Clinical Trials and Research Studies

  • A Single Center Observational Study Of Sublingual Microvascular Function In Adults With And Without Cardiovascular Disease

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View All Research Studies (1)

Publications

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