Aims We evaluated the distribution and composition of atherosclerotic plaques at bifurcations with intravascular ultrasound-virtual histology (IVUS-VH) and multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) in relation to the bifurcation angle (BA). Methods and results In 33 patients (age 63 +/- 11 years, 79% male) imaged with IVUS-VH and MDCT, 33 bifurcations were matched and studied. The analysed main vessel was divided into a 5 mm proximal segment, the in-bifurcation segment, and a 5 mm distal segment. Plaque contours were manually traced on MDCT and IVUS-VH. Plaques with >10% confluent necrotic core and <10% dense calcium on IVUS-VH were considered high risk, whereas plaque composition by MDCT was graded as non-calcified, calcified, or Conclusion The proximal segment of bifurcations is more likely to contain high-risk plaques, especially when the branching angle is wide.