The current study aims to assess the applicability of direct or indirect normalization for the analysis of fractional anisotropy (FA) maps in the context of diffusion-weighted images (DWIs) contaminated by ghosting artifacts. We found that FA maps acquired by direct normalization showed generally higher anisotropy than indirect normalization, and the disparities were aggravated by the presence of ghosting artifacts in DWIs. The voxel-wise statistical comparisons demonstrated that indirect normalization reduced the influence of artifacts and enhanced the sensitivity of detecting anisotropy differences between groups. This suggested that images contaminated with ghosting artifacts can be sensibly analyzed using indirect normalization. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.
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