Our purposes are to develop a vertebra detection scheme for automated scan planning, which would assist radiological technologists in their routine work for the imaging of vertebrae. Because the orientations of vertebrae were various, and the Haar-like features were only employed to represent the subject on the vertical, horizontal, or diagonal directions, we rotated the CT scout image seven times to make the vertebrae roughly horizontal in least one of the rotated images. Then, we employed Adaboost learning algorithm to construct a strong classifier for the vertebra detection by use of Haar-like features, and combined the detection results with the overlapping region according to the number of times they were detected. Finally, most of the false positives were removed by use of the contextual relationship between them. The detection scheme was evaluated on a database with 76 CT scout image. Our detection scheme reported 1.65 false positives per image at a sensitivity of 94.3% for initial detection of vertebral candidates, and then the performance of detection was improved to 0.95 false positives per image at a sensitivity of 98.6% for the further steps of false positive reduction. The proposed scheme achieved a high performance for the detection of vertebrae with different orientations.