Um... nope, they are almost exclusively referred to as Heatpipes...
Heatpipes are simply a sealed copper tube with a substance inside that when heated turns to a gas and moves from the lower end of the tube to the higher end (gas rises) this in turn transfers all the heat needed to turn it from liquid to gas to the other end of the heatpipe resulting in a very efficient method of moving heat from one point to another.
Now to the OP. Most heatsinks designed for the enthusiast market today utilize heatpipes are they are the only way some of the large tower heatsinks could work practically. Without them the heat would never reach the upper areas of the heatsink.
Heatpipes are not in the same league as a real water cooling loop. There is no air cooler on the market that offers the same performance numbers as a decent water cooling loop.