Nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) has been widely and safely used in the treatment of sleep disorders but has not been previously utilized for therapy of pulmonary atelectasis in adults. We observed three patients with significant atelectasis which was refractory to conventional chest physiotherapy. Bronchoscopy was not a viable therapeutic option in any patient. Therapy with continuous nasal CPAP was initiated at 10 to 15 cm H2O. The patients tolerated the therapy well and had prompt resolution of atelectasis. Nasal CPAP may be an effective modality for therapy of pulmonary atelectasis in spontaneously breathing patients, particularly when conventional therapies are not tolerated or are ineffectual.