An overnight breathing treatment called adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV) therapy was shown to be helpful in individuals with chronic heart failure, new research suggests.

Usually employed to treat disordered breathing, ASV uses a monitoring unit that turns on airway pressure and continuously adjusts to optimize patient breathing patterns. To study its effectiveness with congestive heart failure, investigators divided a group of 30 people with the cardiac condition into two groups. Half of the patients received standard conservative treatment while the other received ASV for six months.

Investigators from Japan’s Gunma Prefectural Cardiovascular Center found ASV was just as effective as standard treatment in improving cardiac function and increasing exercise capacity.

“These findings mean that ASV has the potential to become an excellent device for the treatment of cardiovascular disease,” lead investigator Takuji Toyama, M.D., said.

The findings were presented at the Society of Nuclear Medicine’s 2012 Annual Meeting this week in Miami Beach, FL.