PURPOSE: Micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) has been widely used in the evaluation of regenerated bone tissue but the reliability of micro-CT has not yet been established. This study evaluated the correlation between histomorphometric analysis and micro-CT analysis in performing new bone formation measurement. METHODS: Critical-size calvarial defects were created using a 8 mm trephine bur in a total of 24 Sprague-Dawley rats, and collagen gel mixed with autogenous rat bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) or autogenous rat BMSCs transduced by adenovirus containing bone morphogenic protein-2 (BMP-2) genes was loaded into the defect site. In the control group, collagen gel alone was loaded into the defect. After 2 and 4 weeks, the animals were euthanized and calvaria containing defects were harvested. Micro-CT analysis and histomorphometric analysis of each sample were accomplished and the statistical evaluation about the correlation between both analyses was performed. RESULTS: New bone formation of the BMP-2 group was greater than that of the other groups at 2 and 4 weeks in both histomorphometric analysis and micro-CT analysis (P=0.026, P=0.034). Histomorphometric analysis of representative sections showed similar results to histomorphometric analysis with a mean value of 3 sections. Measurement of new bone formation was highly correlated between histomorphometric analysis and micro-CT analysis, especially at the low lower threshold level at 2 weeks (adjusted r2=0.907, P<0.001). New bone formation of the BMP-2 group analyzed by micro-CT tended to decline sharply with an increasing lower threshold level, and it was statistically significant (P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Both histomorphometric analysis and micro-CT analysis were valid methods for measurement of the new bone in rat calvarial defects and the ability to detect the new bone in micro-CT analysis was highly influenced by the threshold level in the BMP-2 group at early stage.