According to a study in Chest, heliox therapy had a clinically significant improvement on mean and lowest oxygen saturation in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), Sleep Review reports.

A study published in the October 2017 abstract supplement for the journal Chest and presented at Chest 2017 assessed the efficacy of heliox for OSA to begin to determine if the gas could one day become an alternative to CPAP.

The researchers found Heliox therapy had a clinically significant improvement on patients’ mean and lowest oxygen saturation. Although Heliox showed some improvement in apnea index (AI), apnea hypopnea index (AHI), it didn’t reach statistical significance.

The results of this initial study were promising, according to lead author Ahmed Mahgoub, MD. “If we can prove this to be an alternate to CPAP, which as we know has a poor rate of compliance, then we can improve the lives of people with sleep apnea,” he said.