The aim of the present study was to investigate the predictive value of multi-detector computed tomography angiography (MDCTA) on acute coronary artery events in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). MDCTA was performed in 150 patients with T2DM (males, 74; mean age, 66±6.7 years for all patients) that had experienced atypical chest pains. After a follow-up period of at least 2 years, 55 patients were excluded from the study as they did not exhibit any coronary events. The remaining 95 patients were divided into the study group (n=28), that had experienced an acute coronary event such as acute coronary syndrome, or the control group (n=67) that had stable angina. There were no statistically significant differences in the degree of coronary artery lumen stenosis between the study and control groups (P=0.380). The proportion of calcified plaques in the study group was significantly lower compared with the control group (13.6 vs. 53.2%; P<0.001), while the proportion of soft plaques in the study group was significantly higher compared with the control group (37 vs. 9.3%; P<0.001). Type III plaques showed a sensitivity of 76.2% and a negative predictive value of 64.5% for acute coronary events. By contrast, type IV plaques had a sensitivity of 52.6% and a positive predictive value of 63% for chronic coronary events. Therefore, the results of the present study indicate that MDCTA may be used as a noninvasive modality for evaluating and predicting vulnerable coronary atherosclerosis plaques in patients with T2DM.