Perioperative bacterial meningitis after trans-sphenoidal surgery for pituitary and parasellar lesions is an uncommon but serious complication. Little evidence guides the choice of chemoprophylaxis in this setting. To begin to address this deficiency, we investigated the incidence of perioperative meningitis in 442 patients who underwent trans-sphenoidal surgery and received a short chemoprophylaxis regimen with a single agent and did not require lumbar drainage. In 2005 we instituted a standardized antibiotic prophylaxis protocol for trans-sphenoidal surgery that utilized intravenous cefuroxime, a second-generation cephalosporin with broad coverage and excellent spinal fluid penetration, administered 30 min before surgery and 8 h later. The primary endpoint was the incidence of perioperative (within 30 days of surgery) bacterial meningitis. Data from The Barrow Pituitary Outcomes Project, a prospectively maintained patient research database, were supplemented with review of medical records and hospital discharge codes. There were no cases of perioperative meningitis. Three patients developed delayed meningitis associated with persistent or recurrent spinal fluid leakage 2-8 months after surgery. Perioperatively, seven patients received additional antibiotics for urinary tract infections. A single-agent, short-duration chemoprophylaxis regimen for trans-sphenoidal surgery is effective at preventing perioperative meningitis in patients who do not require lumbar drainage after surgery. The results of this regimen compare favorably to historical rates achieved with longer regimens that use two antibiotics. Future studies will investigate the role prophylactic antibiotics play in nasal mucosa healing and sinusitis.