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 retrieving these artefacts from DT-MRI data. Here we compare how ICC phantom calibration and affine FLIRT (http://www.fmrib.ox.ac.uk), a popular image-based multimodal 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. (c) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.