• Death rates from large-bowel cancer have remained essentially unchanged over the past 40 years because the diagnosis is made late, after the tumor has spread to other sites. This study was undertaken to examine whether alterations in mucosal electrical capacitance precede the development of gross malignancy, since this parameter may reflect functional or structural changes in the colonocyte plasma membrane, which is of importance in the regulation of cell growth. Distal colonic mucosal capacitance was decreased at low frequencies after only four weeks of treatment with the carcinogen dimethylhydrazine in C1 mice. Alterations in electrical capacitance may be a useful marker in identifying patients with a propensity to develop large-bowel cancer.
(Arch Surg 1986;121:1253-1258)