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Magn Reson Imaging. 2007 Apr;25(3):341-9. Epub 2006 Nov 13.

A quantitative comparison of two methods to correct eddy current-induced distortions in DT-MRI.

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Medical and Radiological Sciences (Medical Physics), University of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital, Crewe Road, Edinburgh, EH4 2XU, UK.


Eddy current-induced geometric distortions of single-shot, diffusion-weighted, echo-planar (DW-EP) images are a major confounding factor to the accurate determination of water diffusion parameters in diffusion tensor MRI (DT-MRI). Previously, it has been suggested that these geometric distortions can be removed from brain DW-EP images using affine transformations determined from phantom calibration experiments using iterative cross-correlation (ICC). Since this approach was first described, a number of image-based registration methods have become available that can also correct eddy current-induced distortions in DW-EP images. However, as yet no study has investigated whether separate eddy current calibration or image-based registration provides the most accurate way of removing these artefacts from DT-MRI data. Here we compare how ICC phantom calibration and affine FLIRT (, a popular image-based multi-modal registration method that can correct both eddy current-induced distortions and bulk subject motion, perform when registering DW-EP images acquired with different slice thicknesses (2.8 and 5 mm) and b-values (1000 and 3000 s/mm(2)). With the use of consistency testing, it was found that ICC was a more robust algorithm for correcting eddy current-induced distortions than affine FLIRT, especially at high b-value and small slice thickness. In addition, principal component analysis demonstrated that the combination of ICC phantom calibration (to remove eddy current-induced distortions) with rigid body FLIRT (to remove bulk subject motion) provided a more accurate registration of DT-MRI data than that achieved by affine FLIRT.

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