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NYU Langone Provider

Harmony R. Reynolds, MD

NYU Langone Provider
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Director
Sarah Ross Soter Center for Women’s Cardiovascular Research
International Expert
Myocardial Infarction with Nonobstructive Coronary Arteries (MINOCA)
Recipient
Rock Star of Research Award from the American Heart Association
Awarded Research Grants
From National Institutes of Health and American Heart Association

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

Conditions
  • 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 valve 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
  • rheumatic heart disease
  • dilated cardiomyopathy
  • cerebrovascular disorder
  • aortic valve stenosis
  • occlusive vascular disease
  • heart tumor
  • broken heart syndrome
  • hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • sarcoidosis

Positions
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

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Locations and Appointments

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NYU Cardiology Associates

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

Phone

212-263-7751

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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 that predominantly affect women, particularly heart attack and chest pain with open (unblocked) arteries, including takotsubo syndrome (also known as broken-heart syndrome).

Myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) are typically the result of cholesterol plaque that narrows or blocks the flow of blood. However, in a condition referred to as myocardial infarction with nonobstructive coronary arteries (MINOCA), which affects as many as 20 percent of patients who have experienced a heart attack and is particularly common among women, angiography reveals that plaque blockages alone cannot explain the heart attack.

Answering the question of what other factor, or factors, might be responsible is the purpose of my current four-year research study. The project, which is funded by a grant from the American Heart Association, follows 125 women in the United States and Canada and is one of the first studies dedicated to women to use the advanced imaging technology of optical coherence tomography (OCT), which enables our team to take images from the inside of arteries. We will compare and contrast images captured through optical coherence tomography (OCT) with images captured using MRI —which visualize the areas of the heart muscle that have been damaged—to determine whether MINOCA is caused by a break in a cholesterol plaque or blood vessel wall inside the artery and which parts of the heart are affected.

Right now, physicians are not sure how to treat patients with MINOCA; it’s not clear what diagnostic tests or medications 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 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 on the coronary care unit at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, I saw many women who experienced heart attacks even though their arteries weren’t blocked, and I was driven to find out why.

With funding from the National Institutes of Health, my team is also studying chest pain with open arteries. This American Heart Association program also includes a study to examine whether mindfulness exercises and other relaxation techniques can help manage stress in patients with heart conditions, with the help of NYU Langone collaborators.

With the help of NYU Langone collaborators, we are working to understand better how platelets—the cells that form blood clots—differ from individual to individual, and whether these variations play an important role in a given woman’s risk for a heart attack.

These focus areas and their associated publications are derived from PubMed and the MeSH term library. *
represents one publication
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*Due to PubMed processing times, the most recent publications may not be reflected in the timeline.

View All Research Studies (2)

Read All Publications (162)

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