We describe a new method for quantitative imaging of strain and elastic modulus distributions in soft tissues. The method is based on external tissue compression, with subsequent computation of the strain profile along the transducer axis, which is derived from cross-correlation analysis of pre- and post-compression A-line pairs. The strain profile can then be converted to an elastic modulus profile by measuring the stresses applied by the compressing device and applying certain corrections for the nonuniform stress field. We report initial results of several phantom and excised animal tissue experiments which demonstrate the ability of this technique to quantitatively image strain and elastic modulus distributions with good resolution, sensitivity and with diminished speckle. We discuss several potential clinical uses of this technique.