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A general approach to the first-order analysis of error in rigid point registration is presented that accommodates fiducial localization error (FLE) that may be inhomogeneous (varying from point to point) and anisotropic (varying with direction) and also accommodates arbitrary weighting that may also be inhomogeneous and anisotropic. Covariances are derived for target registration error (TRE) and for weighted fiducial registration error (FRE) in terms of covariances of FLE, culminating in a simple implementation that encompasses all combinations of weightings and anisotropy. Furthermore, it is shown that for ideal weighting, in which the weighting matrix for each fiducial equals the inverse of the square root of the cross covariance of its two-space FLE, fluctuations of FRE and TRE are mutually independent. These results are validated by comparison with previously published expressions and by simulation. Furthermore, simulations for randomly generated fiducial positions and FLEs are presented that show that correlation is negligible in the exact case for both ideal and uniform weighting (i.e., no weighting), the latter of which is employed in commercial surgical guidance systems. From these results we conclude that for these weighting schemes, while valid expressions exist relating the covariance of FRE to the covariance of TRE, there are no measures of the goodness of fit of the fiducials for a given registration that give to first order any information about the fluctuation of TRE from its expected value and none that give useful information in the exact case. Therefore, as estimators of registration accuracy, such measures should be approached with extreme caution both by the purveyors of guidance systems and by the practitioners who use them.