We are investigating three-dimensional (3D) to two-dimensional (2D) registration methods for computed tomography (CT) and dual-energy digital radiography (DR) for the detection of coronary artery calcification. CT is an established tool for the diagnosis of coronary artery diseases (CADs). Dual-energy digital radiography could be a cost-effective alternative for screening coronary artery calcification. In order to utilize CT as the "gold standard" to evaluate the ability of DR images for the detection and localization of calcium, we developed an automatic intensity-based 3D-to-2D registration method for 3D CT volumes and 2D DR images. To generate digital rendering radiographs (DRR) from the CT volumes, we developed three projection methods, i.e. Gaussian-weighted projection, threshold-based projection, and average-based projection. We tested normalized cross correlation (NCC) and normalized mutual information (NMI) as similarity measurement. We used the Downhill Simplex method as the search strategy. Simulated projection images from CT were fused with the corresponding DR images to evaluate the localization of cardiac calcification. The registration method was evaluated by digital phantoms, physical phantoms, and clinical data sets. The results from the digital phantoms show that the success rate is 100% with mean errors of less 0.8 mm and 0.2 degree for both NCC and NMI. The registration accuracy of the physical phantoms is 0.34 ± 0.27 mm. Color overlay and 3D visualization of the clinical data show that the two images are registered well. This is consistent with the improvement of the NMI values from 0.20 ± 0.03 to 0.25 ± 0.03 after registration. The automatic 3D-to-2D registration method is accurate and robust and may provide a useful tool to evaluate the dual-energy DR images for the detection of coronary artery calcification.