Photoacoustic imaging is a relatively new medical imaging modality. In principle it can be used to image the optical absorption distribution of an object by measurements of optically induced acoustic signals. Recently we have developed a modified photoacoustic measurement system which can be used to simultaneously image the ultrasound propagation parameters as well. By proper placement of a passive element we obtain isolated measurements of the object's ultrasound propagation parameters, independent of the optical absorption inside the object. This passive element acts as a photoacoustic source and measurements are obtained by allowing the generated ultrasound signal to propagate through the object. Images of the ultrasound propagation parameters, being the attenuation and speed of sound, can then be reconstructed by inversion of a measurement model. This measurement model relates the projections non-linearly to the unknown images, due to ray refraction effects. After estimating the speed of sound and attenuation distribution, the optical absorption distribution is reconstructed. In this reconstruction problem we take into account the previously estimated speed of sound distribution. So far, the reconstruction algorithms have been tested using computer simulations. The method has been compared with existing algorithms and good results have been obtained.© (2009) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.