Background Spread through air spaces (STAS) has recently been demonstrated to exhibit a negative impact on lung adenocarcinoma prognosis. However, most of these studies investigated STAS in nonmucinous adenocarcinoma. Here, we investigated the incidence of STAS in invasive mucinous adenocarcinoma (IMA) of the lung and evaluated whether tumor STAS was a risk factor of disease recurrence in IMA. We also examined clinicoradiologic factors in patients with IMA harboring STAS. Methods We reviewed pathologic specimens and imaging characteristics of primary tumors from 132 consecutive patients who underwent surgical resection for IMA to evaluate STAS. Patients with and without STAS were compared with respect to clinical characteristics as well as computed tomography (CT) imaging using logistic regression. The relationships between all variables including STAS and survival were analyzed. Results Among a total of 132 patients, full pathologic specimens were available for 119 patients, and STAS was observed in 86 (72.3%). IMA patients with STAS were significantly associated with older age, presence of lobulated and spiculated margins on CT scan (P = 0.009, P = 0.006, and P = 0.027). In multivariate analysis for overall survival (OS), STAS was a borderline independent poor prognostic predictor (P = 0.028). Older age, history of smoking, higher T stage, presence of lymph node metastasis, and consolidative morphologic type remained independent predictors for OS. Conclusions STAS was associated with reduced OS and was a borderline independent poor prognostic factor in IMA. IMA with STAS was associated with older age and presence of lobulated and spiculated margins on CT scan. Key points Significant findings of the study Compared with other subtypes, IMA shows a higher incidence of STAS, which is an independent poor prognostic predictor even in IMA. Lobulated and spiculated margins on CT are associated with STAS. What this study adds Considering that STAS can carry the potential for aerogenous metastasis, predicting STAS using preoperative surrogate CT imaging is desirable to avoid limited resection.