The effects of treatment with nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) on left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) were assessed in 29 patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in a prospective study using multiple gated equilibrium radionuclide angiocardiography. All patients were evaluated before CPAP treatment was initiated and were reevaluated after one year (mean +/- SE, 415 +/- 6 days), of home treatment with nasal CPAP. The mean LVEF increased from 59 +/- 1 percent to 63 +/- 1 percent (p less than 0.005). The degree of improvement in LVEF was correlated with baseline LVEF (r = 0.54; p less than 0.003), meaning that the lower the baseline value, the greater the increase with treatment. The changes were not different when subgroups of medicated and unmedicated patients were considered separately. These results show that long-term nasal CPAP treatment results in improved left ventricular function in OSA.