Abstract Medical image fusion is the process of registering and combining multiple images from single or multiple imaging modalities to improve the imaging quality and reduce randomness and redundancy in order to increase the clinical applicability of medical images for diagnosis and assessment of medical problems. Multi-modal medical image fusion algorithms and devices have shown notable achievements in improving clinical accuracy of decisions based on medical images. This review article provides a factual listing of methods and summarizes the broad scientific challenges faced in the field of medical image fusion. We characterize the medical image fusion research based on (1) the widely used image fusion methods, (2) imaging modalities, and (3) imaging of organs that are under study. This review concludes that even though there exists several open ended technological and scientific challenges, the fusion of medical images has proved to be useful for advancing the clinical reliability of using medical imaging for medical diagnostics and analysis, and is a scientific discipline that has the potential to significantly grow in the coming years.