Multimodal medical image fusion, as a powerful tool for the clinical applications, has developed with the advent of various imaging modalities in medical imaging. The main motivation is to capture most relevant information from sources into a single output, which plays an important role in medical diagnosis. In this paper, a novel fusion framework is proposed for multimodal medical images based on non-subsampled contourlet transform (NSCT). The source medical images are first transformed by NSCT followed by combining low- and high-frequency components. Two different fusion rules based on phase congruency and directive contrast are proposed and used to fuse low- and high-frequency coefficients. Finally, the fused image is constructed by the inverse NSCT with all composite coefficients. Experimental results and comparative study show that the proposed fusion framework provides an effective way to enable more accurate analysis of multimodality images. Further, the applicability of the proposed framework is carried out by the three clinical examples of persons affected with Alzheimer, subacute stroke and recurrent tumor. © 1999-2012 IEEE.